A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 23, 2010
“Vegetarian: an old Indian word for bad hunter”

"Vegetarian: an old Indian word for bad hunter” is a joke line (implying that those who choose not to eat meat are simply bad hunters) that has been featured on T-shirts and bumper stickers. The word “vegetarian” is not at all an “Indian word,” but comes from the word “vegetable” and was coined in England in the 1830s.

“Vegetarian = indian word meaning bad hunter” has been cited in print since at least 1997.


Wikipedia: Vegetarianism
Vegetarianism is the practice of following a plant-based diet including fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, nuts, and seeds, mushrooms, with or without dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat meat, including red meat, game, poultry, fish, crustacea, and shellfish, and may also abstain from by-products of animal slaughter such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin. As some cheeses containing rennet, and gelatin-derived products, contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, however, these products may unknowingly be eaten by vegetarians.
(...)
Etymology
The Vegetarian Society, founded in 1847, writes that it created the word “vegetarian” from the Latin “vegetus” meaning “lively”. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and other standard dictionaries state that the word was formed from the term “vegetable” and the suffix “-arian”. The OED writes that the word came into general use after the formation of the Vegetarian Society at Ramsgate in 1847, though it offers two examples of usage from 1839 and 1842.

Free merriam-Webster Dictionary
Origin of VEGETARIAN
vegetable + -arian
First Known Use: 1839

CafePress
Vegetarian, an indian word meaning Bad Hunter. Get this humourous phrase now on a variety of shirts, hats, mugs and other apparel and merchandise. Great gifts for the hunters, barbecuers and meat eaters in the family

Zazzle.com
Vegetarian=bad hunter t shirt

Google Groups: rec.humor
Newsgroups: rec.humor
From: jorxjor <"jorxjor"@hotmail.(dot)com>
Date: 1997/09/29
Subject: Re: Vegetarians are EVIL people

Vegetarian = indian word meaning bad hunter

Google Groups: alt.native
Newsgroups: alt.native
From:
Date: 1999/04/15
Subject: Re: Another Native “Spiritual” RItual?

(an old joke): NDN definition for “Vegetarian” = Bad Hunter

Google Books
Sarbola : a novel
By John Beowulf
Victoria, BC: Trafford
2003
Pg. 178:
“I thought the word vegetarian was an Indian word for bad hunter?”

Google Books
Riding Outside the Lines:
International incidents and other misadventures with the metal cowboy

By Joe Kurmaskie
New York, NY: Three Rivers Press
2003
Pg. 69:
Vegetarian: ancient Indian word meaning “bad hunter.”

Google Books
Hallowed Ground
By: Lori Armstrong
Wesley Chapel, FL: Medallion Press
2006
Pg. 90:
Recently I’d seen a bumper sticker that read: “VEGETARIAN: LAKOTA WORD FOR BAD HUNTER.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Saturday, October 23, 2010 • Permalink