Not quite "CLOTHING & SHOES"

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Note from François Lang:  "This is not photoshopped. I took this photo this afternoon in Rockville MD."

Until 2020, I did not know this word (except as a gardening / agricultural implement, but that is not what is meant here).  I still am not very familiar with it, but I've been hearing / seeing it with greater frequency, and there are arguments over how to spell it and what the plural is.

Selected readings


  1. Chris Button said,

    February 10, 2024 @ 9:08 am

    @ Victor Mair

    It seems you missed out on seeing "House Party" (1990), which features the classic line:

    "Could you tell me why in god's name you called his mother a garden tool?"

  2. Dr. Emilio Lizardo said,

    February 10, 2024 @ 9:14 am

    There was also a fairly provocative (and rhyming) political slogan during the 2020 US presidential election:

    Vote for Joe and the ___

    You can fill in the blank, but be assured that it wasn't a pro-Biden effort.

  3. Jason said,

    February 10, 2024 @ 12:23 pm

    This came up in a federal appeals court in 2005! In _United States v. Murphy_, Judge Terence Evans wrote:

    The trial transcript quotes Ms. Hayden as saying Murphy called her a snitch bitch "hoe." A "hoe," of course, is a tool used for weeding and gardening. We think the court reporter, unfamiliar with rap music (perhaps thankfully so), misunderstood Hayden's response. We have taken the liberty of changing "hoe" to "ho," a staple of rap music vernacular as, for example, when Ludacris raps "You doin' ho activities with ho tendencies."

  4. Windowless Monad said,

    February 10, 2024 @ 4:28 pm

    And the unforgettable Corner Gas, with the world's biggest:

  5. Windowless Monad said,

    February 10, 2024 @ 4:28 pm

  6. Bloix said,

    February 10, 2024 @ 6:16 pm

    Not to mention this Roz Chast cartoon from 2004:

  7. Tom Dawkes said,

    February 11, 2024 @ 9:01 am

    On deletion of -r, see also L. Sprague de Camp LS. "Arse and ass." Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 1971;1(2):79-80

  8. Vanya said,

    February 11, 2024 @ 1:28 pm

    It’s clearly not photoshopped, it’s clearly a simple act of vandalism. Given that this is an intentional demonstration of juvenile humor, and not a cute malapropism or bad translation, this photograph is kind of an odd fit on this site.

  9. Anonymous Historian said,

    February 11, 2024 @ 9:04 pm

    Vanya? More like Karen.

  10. Daniel Barkalow said,

    February 13, 2024 @ 8:28 pm

    The sweet and innocent then-contestant, now-host on Jeopardy:

  11. Yves Rehbein said,

    February 14, 2024 @ 2:38 pm

    Such a hoesome contribution.

  12. /df said,

    February 17, 2024 @ 9:46 pm

    Not to forget Raj's immortal line from Big Bang Theory S04E19:

    "C'mon on man. Bros before….my sister."

    The internally rhymed lifestyle motto that Raj almost used was obviously expected to be inferred by a network TV audience, the sort of group by underestimating whose intelligence no-one ever lost money, according to Mencken.

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