[Dixielandjazz] Re: 'Pipe the Shine'

Dan Augustine ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu
Tue Nov 2 15:46:52 PST 2004

Pipe the slang:
     I've run across this word before in mystery novels, and it always 
means "look at" or "pay attention to" (but not necessarily with 
admiration), not "hit someone with a pipe".
     The Oxford English Dictionary concurs:

"9. trans. and intr. To see, notice, look (at), watch; to follow or 
observe (someone), esp. stealthily. Also with off. slang and dial. 
Perhaps a different word.
   1846 Swell's Night Guide 43 You may pipe the crib by seeing a board 
whereon is inscribed the name of the piano faker. 1848 Ladies' 
Repository VIII. 316/2 Pipe, to watch; reconnoitre. 1864 HOTTEN Slang 
Dict. 202 Pipe, to follow or dog a person. Term used by detectives. 
1869 Galaxy VIII. 349 His 'pal'..has meantime been engaged in an 
operation which he styles 'piping off the cop', by which he means 
that he has been watching the movements of the policeman. 1877 
Sessions Papers 25 Oct. 631 Druscovich..said 'I know I am being piped 
off' that in our language means being followed or watched it would 
imply that another detective was following him. 1888 S. O. ADDY 
Gloss. Words Sheffield 176 Pipe, to take notice of. 'Pipe his kuss', 
i.e., take notice of his mouth. A detective is said to pipe round a 
public-house when in search of a culprit. 1898 A. M. BINSTEAD Pink 
'Un & Pelican iv. 87 His mission up there on the roof was to exclude 
Anglice, sling off any who sought to 'pipe off' the contest through 
the skylight aforesaid. 1898 F. P. DUNNE Mr. Dooley in Peace & War 3 
Sagasta pipes him out iv th' corner iv his eye. 1906 'H. MCHUGH' 
Skiddoo! 67 I'm going to pass you out a talk he handed me a few 
evenings ago on that subject. Pipe! 1915 WODEHOUSE Psmith, Journalist 
ii. 10 Pipe de leather collar she's wearing. 1924 E. O'NEILL Welded 
II. ii. 141 Remember kissing me on the corner with the whole mob 
pipin' us off? 1926 Flynn's 16 Jan. 640/2 We found another rattler 
and a few days later I piped a beaut of a jug and a jay burg. 1943 F. 
SARGESON in Penguin New Writing XVII. 78 We'd stand in shop doorways 
and Terry'd pipe off everyone that went past. 1950 R. CHANDLER Let. 
18 May in R. Chandler Speaking (1966) 78 'Piped' does not mean 
'found' but saw or spotted (with the eyes). 1974 H. J. PARKER View 
from Boys iii. 77 During the daytime wandering around the area, 
'pipe-ing', looking over a car, became a regular practice."
>Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 14:16:22 -0800 (PST)
>Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] 'Shine' the slang meaning
>From: tubaman at batnet.com
>To: "Steve barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
>Cc: DJML <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
>  > For those who are still unsure about "Shine" and "Pipe The Shine".
>  > "Shine" is/was a derogatory term for "Nigger" which is/was a derogatory
>  > term for Black people.
>  > It was still in use in the 1940s, 50s and 60s in parts of, if not all of
>  > the USA. Probably still is in use today.
>  > "Pipe the shine" meant to beat the "shine" with a lead pipe, or blackjack
>  > which had their own slang terms as being a "nigger knocker".
>Unfortunately, I guess I stand corrected - several confirming links from
>this direction that did not show up when I searched "Pipe the Shine" - but
>I now see this connection...
>and many others that were much nastier and hateful. Certainly part of our
>jazz history that most OKOM fans hesitate to acknowledge!
>Dave Richoux

**  Dan Augustine    Austin, Texas   ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu     **
**   "If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."  **
**                                      -- Kingsley Amis              **

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