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 06, 2007
Tea-sipper or Teasipper; Tea-sip or Teasip (University of Texas at Austin student nickname)

Since at least the 1930s, the Texas A&M Aggies have called students of the University of Texas at Austin “tea-sippers” ( or “teasippers"), later “tea-sips” (or “teasips"). No one knows why.

Some have speculated that “tea-sipper” is an Aggie tea-drinking interpretation of the famous “Hook ‘em, Horns” hand gesture, but that hand gesture was invented by cheerleader Harley Clark in 1955—well after “tea-sipper” was first cited.


Wikipedia: Glossary of Texas Aggie Terms
Tea-sip
A student of Texas A&M’s archrival, the University of Texas at Austin. 

Urban Dictionary
tea sipper
word used by Texas A&M aggies to describe a Texas Longhorn. meant to be demeaning
Why does that there tea sipper make more money than me?
by Lindlof May 28, 2004

Urban Dictionary
1. tea-sip
One who attends or attended the University of Texas (t.u.) in Austin, Texas.

The term tea-sip (also spelled teasip, t-sip, or t sip) was started by students of Texas A&M University (aka. Aggies) in the early 1900’s to belittle the well-to-do students of t.u. The University of Texas was traditionally the “rich” school which pumped out doctors, lawyers and the like. A&M was the blue collar school which traditionally taught Agriculture and Mechanics (engineering).

The Aggies play the teasips on Thanksgiving day.
I’m sick of all those hippy teasips in Austin.
by Henry Hill Feb 8, 2005

2. tea-sip
one who attends U.T.
My friend Mitch is a tea-sip.
by Aggie class ‘08 Nov 3, 2004

(Oxford English Dictionary)
tea, n.
(...)
Objective and obj. gen., as...tea--sipper,...
1756 HANWAY Ess. Tea viii. 245 Were they the sons of *tea-sippers, who won the fields of Cressy and Agincourt? 

13 October 1933, The Daily Texan (Austin, TX), “Littlefield Calls On Student Spirit To Help Saturday,” pg. 1, col. 5:
Karl Tanner denounced in no uncertain terms the “tea sippers” and “spat wearers” who are much too blase to think of lowering themselves by attending a rally.

12 March 1936, The Daily Texan (Austin, TX), “Even Bridge Players Watch As Ping Pong Invades Union,” pg. 1, col. 3:
All is well, until the editor of the A&M Battalion finds out about the table, and issues another “Tea-Sippers Number” of is humor magazine.

6 January 1937, The Daily Texan (Austin, TX), “Peripatus” by Ed Syers, pg. 4, col. 2:
“Tea sippers,” snorts head coach Blatz. “There ain’t no reason to lose men to Yale if we treat ’em right here.”

9 November 1937, The Daily Texan (Austin, TX), “Long Range Letters,” pg. 4, col. 6:
As the freshman and general school spirit stands now, it is not to be wondered that our odorous brothers from College Station have dubbed us “Tea Sippers.”

25 November 1937, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 6, col. 1:
THE FOLLOWING excerpts from a letter sent by Junie Schuler, Aggies freshman, gives an idea about the spirit at Aggieland:

“The Aggies have been preparing for this day since the football season started, and we don’t mean to let the tea sippers from Texas U. spoil our victory.”

12 February 1939, Galveston (TX) Daily News, “Strolling the Campus” with Sam Weiner, pg. 13, col. 1:
AGGIE LAMBAST
TEXAS “ TEA-SIPPERS.”

With the ROTC struggle pouring oil on the flames, the perennial rivalry between the Longhorns and Aggies flared into a white hot fire during the week, building up the basketball game tonight between the teams in a rough climax.

The heated rivalry flared anew recently during an editorial battle between the Daily Texan campus newspaper ,and the Battalion, the Aggies’ sheet. As usual, the students at Texas have been dubbed “tea-sippers” by the droll Aggies, and to carry out the theme the Battalion editors have arranged for tea to be served to Texas students attending the game at College Station tonight.

“It really hurts us,” the Aggies said, “ to think that the tea-sippers would have to go without their beverage while they’re over here in the wilderness, so we got it arranged for them to have their tea served during the game.

The “tea-sippers” and the “tin-soldiers”—as the Texas students call the Aggies—struck up a bargain for tonight. If Texas wins, the Daily Texan writers, Pat Daniels, editor, and Clarence LaReche, sports editor, will write stories of the game for both the Daily Texan and the Battalion. If the Aggies win, however, the Battalion editors will condescend to cover the game for the “tea-sippers,” giving it that peculiar Aggie twist which proves so annoying to the Texas boys, who dislike being called “tea-sippers.”

2 November 1939, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 8, col. 1:
“If we had a one-horse team like Texas U., Conatser would shine more than soph Jack Crain ever could. We are looking forward to seeing the tea sippers tangle over here on Thanksgiving.”

5 December 1940, Port Arthur (TX) News, “Inside Stuff” by Tommy Griffin, pg. 16, col. 1:
The Ags, of course, call the Longhorns a bunch of tea-sippers. 

6 December 1940, Port Arthur (TX) News pg. 16, “Inside Stuff” (the mail sack) by Tommy Griffin, col. 1:
“College Station.”
“Mr. Thomas ‘Tea-sipper’ Griffin:”
(...)
“In the first place, whether we win or lose every game we play, we still think that we have the best team in the nation and will not go (Col. 2—ed.) running to hide in a corner like a bunch of yellow-bellied tea-sippers.”
(...)
“W. G. (Billy) Williamson, Jr.”
“P. S. I’d rather be an Aggie Freshman the rest of my life than a Tea-sipping Senior.”

1 January 1943, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 3, pg. 11:
The differences between “share-croppers” and “tea-sippers” are something that loyal exes of both schools always remember.

Time magazine
Trouble in Texas
Monday, May. 03, 1943
(...)
Many Texans find the Austin students effete: to the Aggies (Texas A. & M. College), for example, many strapping Austin characters are “tea-sippers.”

1 December 1946, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Forty Acres’ Forecast” by Sara Jane Potts, section 5, pg. 7:
AUSTIN.—If Yankees coming to Texas have been wondering where all those cowboys were, they would have found them marching in Memorial Stadium, where the Texas Teasippers knocked out the Texas Aggies by a comfortable count of 24 to 7 in the traditional Turkey Day game. 

23 October 1949, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 2, pg. 2:
He did get in on a chorus of “Let’s get Texas; let’s get those teasippers.”

30 October 1949, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 2, pg. 8:
Bill Sullivan, the kicker-off, helped start the rally with a thundering: “We got those teasippers.”

28 January 1951, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Steers, Aggies Set Grid Date,” part 2, pg. 1:
AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 27 (AP).—The Aggies and the Teasippers finally got together on something Saturday, but it took considerable bickering to do it.

5 March 1953, Dallas (TX) Morning News, part 1, pg. 6:
Two ex-Aggies wired Sen. William T. Moore, Bryan, that he was a tea sipper, the derogatory term Aggies fling at University of Texas students.

7 August 1956, Dallas (TX) Morning News part 1, pg. 14:
“Wouldn’t this be a good spot for a UT teasipper to drop a grenade!”

30 November 1956, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Ags Give Credit to Bryant,” part 1, pg. 26:
The seniors on the Aggie ball club were rounded up into a corner of the room for pictures. Suddenly, they began rattling the rafters with the chant, “Poo-o-o-r teasips.”

13 July 1964, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Please Pass The Tea” by Roy Edwards, section 2, pg. 2:
Although he played three years of varsity football at A&M, including the 1941 championship team that lost to Texas, and coached at Aggieland eight years under three head coaches, Zapalac has learned to talk teasipper already.

15 November 1965, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Why Are Longhorns Styled “Tea-Sippers’?” by Frank X. Tolbert, section D, pg. 1:
SHE WROTE: “I’m not chauvanistic about University of Texas football, although I took my bachelor’s degree at Texas. However, since the Longhorns started losing football games, I’ve noticed that more and more people refer to University of Texas students as ‘tea-sippers’. This term is particularly popular with the Texas Aggies. I’m a little annoyed over this and I wonder who was the mischievous person who put the nickname of tea-sippers on Texas students? Please don’t use my name since I have a brother-in-law who is a TCU ex and who has a rather heavy-handed sense of humor.”

WELL, AT THE lady’s command, I did some rather unsuccessful research on the “tea-sippers” nickname for University of Texas scholars.

I’d heard a legend that it all began when the great coach, Dana Xenophon Bible, started his gridiron renaissance at Texas in the late 1930’s and, according to the yarn, used to serve hot tea and cookies at athletic gatherings. Mr. Bible, in his deep echoing bass voice, denied this emphatically.

“I never held any teas,” he said.

Another patriarch of University of Texas sports, Theo Blemont, Longhorn athletic director from 1913 to 1929, also could give me no clue.

MY RESEARCH DID show that late in the 19th century, in the Texas Panhandle “teasipper” was a popular term of good-natured scorn for the dandified Britishers who owned several of the larger ranches, such as Lord Tweedmouth and the Earl of Aberdeen of the Rocking Chaire Ranche near Wellington, Texas.

This was, of course, long before any chuck wagon cook even dreamed of serving ice tea. And the rough Panhandle cowboys, much given to coffee drinking, were mystified by the British ranchers’ ritualistic tea sipping.

One British proprietor of a Panhandle ranch objected, at first, to the democratic custom of the owners eating as the same table with the “cow servants”, as he called the hands. Cape Willingham, a famous cowboy who was later the first sheriff of Tascoa, commented on this: “Can you imagine that tea-sipper thinks I ain’t good enough to eat with him! And me a boy that can ride anything that grows hair!”

26 December 1965, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section A, pg. 24:
MOST AGGIES considered them a form of envy, a point of pride. They fought back with barbed wit aimed at “Sips” (short of T-Sip, or Tea-sipper, any person unfortunate enough to enroll at the University of Texas) and Baptists, or Deacons, from Baylor University.

27 April 1970, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section B, pg. 2:
“They’re both tea-sips. It’s going to be an orange wedding.”

27 May 1970, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section A, pg. 1:
“He,” remarked the cadet of the Person up there, “must have been a tea-sip.”

27 October 1970, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section D, pg. 2:
As a “Tea-Sip,” wife of one, mother of two and mother-in-law of one and, as a subscriber to both the Daily Texan and the Austin American, I feel that I am far better qualified to evaluate the university than Mr. Fessi after one trip to one campus dormitory. 

21 February 1974, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Bully Gilstrap Theory on ‘Tea-Sipper’ Label” by Frank X. Tolbert, section A, pg. 21:
WHY ARE University of Texas at Austin students and even former UT students, scoffingly called “tea-sippers”. Questions about this tea-sipper label have come to my desk in a sudden covey of letters, an occurrence I blame on the fact that the dog star is not presently in ascendency.

On his rancho near Rosebud, Texas, a real authority on the University of Texas’ past, the Hon. Bully Gilstrip, proper his bare feet up on a coffee table (Bully goes bare-footed a lot except during sticker season) and gave me this answer:

“The tea-sipper insult is involved with out ‘hook ‘em horns!’ signal, with which followers of the university’s athletic teams have been gesturing their allegiance for several decades.”

BULLY GILSTRAP raised a massive paw in the “hook ‘em horns” finger positions, with the middle fingers folded and the fore finger and little finger erect.

Mr. Gilstrap declared that this gesture by Texas U. aficionados and aficionadas called up to Texas Aggie minds the act of daintily holding a tea cup with the little finger at high port.

“And that’s why Aggies, generations ago, started calling us Texas U. folks tea-sippers,” said Bully, who spent a quarter of a century as a star athlete and then a coach who became a kind of “institution” at the University of Texas.

“BULLY’S WRONG” chorused Mike Quinn, Paul Crume and WIlbur Evans, all stout Orangemen although not necessarily to obnoxious degrees.

“That ‘hook ‘em horns’ salute was first innovated by a University of Texas cheer-leader named Harley Clark, now an Austin lawyer, late in the 1950’s,” said Mr. Quinn.

“Bully says they were making the hook ‘em salute when he played on an unbeaten Texas football team 51 years ago,” I said in rebuttal.

“And one story is that the tea-sipper tag was hung on the university in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s when Dana X. Bible was head football coach and he was said to serve tea and cookies to his athletes as a light meal before games,” said Mr. Crume.

DANA XENOPHON Bible, the 82-year-old head coach emeritus of the University of Texas who was also a successful head football coach at LSU, Texas A&M, and the University of Nebraska, was asked about this.

“Ridiculous,” he said. “I never held any teas for football players.”

Mr. Bible was coach at Texas A&M from 1917 until he went to Nebraska in 1928. And he declared:

“As I recall University of Texas people were being called tea-sippers at the time I had my great unbeaten, untied, and unscored on football team at A&M in 1917.” (The same team, which didn’t operate in 1918 because the coach and most of the players had gone to war, lost its only game 3-7 in the 1920 season, and these were the only points scored on the team during 3 seasons.)

WILBUR EVANS, a University of Texas product who is doing a book on A&M, said that he seemed to recall a reference to “tea-sippers” in an ancient version of the Texas Aggie War Song.
The lusty lyrics for The War Song were written in the trenches of France in 1918 by an Aggie, James V. (Pinky) Wilson, and begin “Hulla-balloo, hulla-ballo, Caneck, Caneck, etc.” and have that refrain “Goodye to Texas Universi-tee, etc.”

Mr. Evans thinks the War Song may have once had lyrics which went something like this: “T is for Texas U.? Hell no! T is for tea-sippers: Hulla-ballo, hulla-baloo, Caneck, Caneck, etc.”

MR. CRUME said that the 2 uplifted fingers resemble snails, at least with his hand, and signify the slowness of Longhorn running backs.

4 September 1974, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section A, pg. 1:
Many University of Texas graduates have plates saying “HOOK EM” or some other variant. The ones that can’t get “Hook ‘Em” get a variant of “TEA SIP,” which describes us old Texas boys who never take strong drink. 

Google Books
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Music and Lyrics by Carol Hall
Book by Larry l. King and Peter Masterson
Based on a story by Larry L. King
New York, NY: Samuel French, Inc.
1983
Pg. 56:
AGGIE I. YeeeeHaw! Didn’t them Teasippers step in a deep pile of Aggie Shit! 

College Football Forum
October 05, 2006 9:17 AM
(...)
“tea sip” - Student of University of Texas

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Saturday, October 06, 2007 • Permalink