RARA-AVIS: Red Harvest: Umpchay?

From: Alexandre Hubner ( alehubner@uol.com.br)
Date: 10 Apr 2002


I'm translating Hammet's "Red Harvest" into Portuguese. In spite of some difficulties, I've managed to come through the "underworld lingo" (even if not always able to convey all the subtleties of the original - but that, I'm afraid, is what translation is about...).

Anyway, at least in one instance I solved a problem of understanding with the help of the list's archives. So I thought some of you might help me with a word I've been unsuccessfully at grips with.

It comes up at the end of chapter 24 ("Wanted"), when Reno Starkey calls Ted Wright a "big umpchay". I've searched all the reference I have access to and found nothing but for the character of a Three Stooges movie ("I'll Never Hail Again", 1941) called Mr. Umpchay - which, unfortunately, doesn't mean anything to me.

Any hints, clues, suggestions would be very welcome.


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