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Language Mysteries in Fight Song Lyrics, Like “Piker”

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Laura from Ithaca, New York, is puzzling over the lyrics to Cornell University’s fight song, “Give My Regards to Davy,” sung to the tune of George M. Cohan’s “Give My Regards to Broadway.” The lyrics include the word pikers, specifically, Tell all the pikers on the hill that I’ll be back again. Although piker has had a number of meanings, including “a small-time gambler” and “a man who won’t spend much money on a date,” in this context, the term probably means a “shirker” or “poor student.” This is part of a complete episode.

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