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 22, 2006
Tenny Runners (or Tennie Runners)

Tenny (or tennie) runners are tennis shoes. The term is said to be used in Texas, but is also popular in many other states.


Dallas Slanguage
Tenny Runners
A pair of athletic shoes

Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
From:  Mark J. Cintala
Date:  Sun, Jul 21 1996 12:00 am

Geez.  This *is* a neat thread.

I’m from PA, now living in TX.  I know you wonderful RFC folks will find it in your hearts to forgive me if I’m kind of immune to some stuff involving pronunciation.  I won’t get started on the Texas dialect, but I will deposit these as I go:
UMbrella, INsurance, tenny runners (if you don’t know what they are, I can’t say I blame you—I was agog when I found out, myself).

How to Talk American
by Jim Crotty
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company
1997
Pg. 342:
tenny runners: any pair of athletic shoes. What are called “tennises” in northern Florida.

18 July 1965, Tri-City Herald (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland, WA), pg. 18 ad:
Tennie Runners.

8 September 1967, Modesto (CA) Bee, pg. A7:
The women, looking somewhat more professional, wore their tenny runners, black slacks and blouses, and pink vests—bearing the name of their sponsor, the Edd Tide Lounge.

12 December 1971, Tri-City Herald (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland, WA), pg.  7:
Or, every man in his tastes, opined the little old lady from Boistfort, who fancies tenny runners, as she kissed the nearby Pe Ell bovine by name Bessy. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Friday, September 22, 2006 • Permalink