RARA-AVIS: Re: The Horsemen

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 10 Mar 2009

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    So, it looks like we all know agree on what "the horsemen" means. But it doesn't seem to be an expression actually used by most Canadians, except possibly crime writers (and Vancouver hockey fans).

    So would-be writers beware: its use to imply a sort of Canadian hip street credibility might backfire.

    Sorta like the term "canuck," which is used mostly, in my experience, by Americans. And by a few Canadian friends out west.

    And then there's the word "shamus," which I mentioned before, and which also is currently rarely heard outside of crime fiction circles
    (and id it ever really catch on?). I just came across a reference suggesting Hammett himself might have coined the word -- at east, that's what Erle Stanley Gardner came to believe.

    And I'm still not sure where the term "Canadian bacon" comes from... maybe once there was some actual type of pork product (back bacon?) that bore the name, but it's now identified, at least in the States, with some dubious thinly sliced processed bacon-flavoured substance favoured as a pizza topping that seems to be closer to bologna than any actual smoked and cured pork cut.

    Hmmmm... maybe it's made from horsemeat... which might mean the horsemen are actually the guys who make Canadian bacon. But I digress...


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