Posted by: ushistoryfiles | August 22, 2009


A couple of days ago I wrote a review of The Wilderness Warrior about Theodore Roosevelt and his passion for preservation.  (You can check out the review here.)There is a section describing one of Grover Cleveland’s acts as President where he “created thirteen new or expanded forest reserves totaling 21 million acres” (The Wilderness Warrior pg. 290).  This angered both “timber barons’ and many senators from the western states.  Consequently Cleveland was called a slew of insulting names.  One that caught my attention was:

“Thimblerigger” – a term that comes from cheating with the old “shell game”.  At one point thimbles were used with the “pea” being places under one.  Naturally a thimblerigger cheated and the pea was under none of the thimbles.


Many thanks to the Word Detective.  Check out the site here :

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