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. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 15, 2019
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me”

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Sticks and Stones
“Sticks and Stones” is an English-language children’s rhyme. The rhyme persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-living. The full rhyme is usually a variant of:

Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will never harm me.


The rhyme is an example of linguistic Siamese twins.
(...)
It is reported to have appeared in The Christian Recorder of March 1862, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where it is presented as an “old adage” in this form:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.

The phrase also appeared in 1872, where it is presented as advice in Tappy’s Chicks: and Other Links Between Nature and Human Nature, by Mrs. George Cupples. The version used in that work runs:

Sticks and stones may break my bones
But names will never harm me.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me and variants: used, esp. by children, to express or encourage an attitude of indifference to taunts, insults, or other verbal abuse. In later use also shortened to sticks and stones and esp. used attributively to designate an attitude, behaviour, or action characterized by indifference to taunts, insults, or other verbal abuse.
1862 Christian Recorder 22 Mar.  Remember the old adage, ‘Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me’. True courage consists in doing what is right, despite the jeers and sneers of our companions.
1894 G. F. Northall Folk-phrases 23 Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me! Said by one youngster to another calling names.

Newspapers.com
2 January 1863, The Liberator (Boston, MA), “The Advent of Justice” by E. H. Heywood, pg. 4, col. 5:
A hot dispute among a parcel of children in one of our streets the other day was about to effloresce in fists and clubs, when a little Irish girl struck up,—

“Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But names can never hurt me,”

and dissolved the quarrel.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Sunday, September 15, 2019 • Permalink