In looking over Hannah’s American history notes, I was intrigued how words and terms popularized by the Civil War fit so well with Tiger Wood’s domestic civil war.
Tiger Woods wished that he had learned to tar his heels and stick closer to home when he was forced to skedaddle from his house in the middle of the night when Elin thought he was a copperhead. Now his distinctly chilly home is nothing like his antebellum home. Since his sponsors are dropping him like a hot potato, Tiger might have trouble paying his federal income tax and find himself living in a pup tent.
The Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origin says that tar refers to North Carolina’s long-leaf pine forests which produced an “abundance of rosin, turpentine, and tar.” The earliest recorded referrence to the heel part, in 1869, stated that ‘”A brigrade of North Carolinians . . .failed to hold a certain hill, and were laughed at by the Mississipppians for having forgotten to tar their heels that morning.”‘ I suppose that if the soldiers had tarred their heels, they would not have “slipped,” and lost the hill.
Civil War soldiers who ran away, scrammed, or left unceremoniously were said to have skedaddled. It’s possible that this definition is related to the word skedaddle used in Northern England which meant to spill but no one is sure.
Northerners who were pro-Union but sympathized with the Confederacy were considered to be as dangerous as lethally poisonous copperhead snakes.
It simply means “before the war” because ante is the Latin word for “before,” and bellum means “war” in Latin.
5. federal income tax
The nation’s first income tax was levied by the North in order to reduce economic stresses.
6. pup tent
The primitive, wedge-shaped tent for two people was considered to be kennel-like, only fit for dogs or puppies. Hence, it was called pup tent or dog tent.
Although Tiger may end up paying more money to Elin than to the federal government, I doubt if he will ever see the inside of a pup tent.