n.— «“Cars that catch fire,” he says, “will be allowed to continue at the officials’ discretion. Rollovers are okay. Now go out there and make good hits. No love taps, and no sandbagging.” What Todd calls sandbagging, anyone else would call self-preservation. Braking before impact, waiting more than 20 seconds between hits, and generally staying out of harm’s way—these are all against the rules of today’s derby, and will result in disqualification.» —“Seek. Destroy. Enjoy.” by Andrew Weiner in West Lebanon, New York Boston Phoenix (Massachusetts) July 24, 2000. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. no idea says:

    slacking. not trying hard or at all to get a task or job done.

  2. Merle Tenney says:

    I don’t believe that this meaning of sandbagging is the most common meaning at all. This is a word I hear with some frequency, and it is generally used to describe a situation in which a person is unexpectedly thrust into a situation where they are crippled or killed, metaphorically speaking.

    So, for example, if everyone on your extended team at work has agreed to your proposal and you go into to a meeting with the boss to discuss the ideas and they all of a sudden propose or support another idea and it’s all of them against you, then you have been sandbagged. I don’t know the origin of the phrase, but I imagine a sandbag being added to your load while hiking or swimming.

    Here is a citation from the Web
    that illustrates this meaning:

    “Re: your article on the lawsuit against Duane Reade by lawyers for the handicapped in New York (June 29): A few weeks ago WNBC-TV’s 6 o’clock local news carried a story about this. There were a suitable number of people in wheelchairs with I-can’t-buy-aspirin-by-myself sob stories, lawyers with carefully prepared sound bites, and a microphone suddenly stuck into the face of some totally sandbagged Duane Reade store manager for his comment, thus making the story a balanced one.”

  3. Thanks, but you’re completely missing the point. This isn’t a dictionary of common terms: it’s a dictionary of fringe English. “Sandbagging” as you define it is well-attested and well-defined in dozens of mainstream English dictionaries so there’s no point in bothering with it here.

  4. Merle Tenney says:

    I see.

    But what is the difference between fringe usage and sloppy, imprecise, and confused usage. Are we to carefully document that “beg a question” now means the same as “raise a question” or “leads to the question” because a lot of unenlightened people use it that way?

  5. This page is merely a single citation, not a full entry. It takes many citations before a meaning can be verified, whether a word is on the fringe or in the mainstream.

    The citation evidence shows, by the way, that “beg the question” has had three meanings for more than 100 years as used by credible, respected, well-educated writers throughout the Anglophone world.

  6. Merle Tenney says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Grant. I am new to this site, so I attached the wrong label to the citations found here.

    Apropos of “begging the question”, I am not normally a prescriptivist, but I must say that it bothers me to see the phrase used in any way that differs from the meaning I learned in my Philosphy of Logic class many years ago.

    What’s next? If enough people say “nucular”, will we bless that term as well? (Please don’t answer that. I shudder at what I expect your response to be. 🙂 )

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