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Middlin of Meat
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Alias    Posted 02-18-2004 at 06:31:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
TD of Tn. asked if anyone was familiar with the term "Middlin of Ham" and "Middlin of Meat".

It got me to thinking, which is something I'm not particularily keen on. So, I got out my well worn Webster's Collegiate and did some parusing.
Now what I found is that used as a nown, ham applies to 6 different meanings, as follows:
1) Hollow of a knee.
2) Buttock with it's associated thigh.
3) A cut of meat consisting of a thigh.
4) Short for Hamfatter from the Ham Fat Man, a
negro spiritual song.
5) A showy performer.
6) A licensed amateur radio operator.

As a verb:
1) To execute with exaggerated speech or

Now, after I checked out Ham, I wised up and decided to check out "Middling", And guess what, it means exactly what you'd think it means. It is used to describe size and quality. Something that is "Middlin" is not the largest or the smallest, but something in between. Further, a "Middlin" object is not best or worse but something in between.

So, if one should speak of a "Middlin ham of meat" they would be grammatically correct to use this term if you discount dropping the "g".
Otherwise, if you sent someone to fetch a ham without specifing size and/or quality and proper identification, that someone may return with a showy performer singing a spiritual song into a 2 way radio.....
....gfp who will now go play in the mud.

~Lenore    Posted 02-18-2004 at 08:54:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Alias, for someone not "keen on thinking" you did a fair to middling job of parusing. Lots of work, but very clever and funny;
I enjoyed it!!

Ahhw you know    Posted 02-18-2004 at 10:15:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
we do what we can to cast a shread of happiness. Thanks for you're continued support.....gfp

bill b va    Posted 02-18-2004 at 07:18:46       [Reply]  [No Email]

middlin meat = bacon, its the strip of meat between fat back and sow belly hense middlin if you are feeding your hogs MIDDLINS its the by product of milling grain to produce white flour.

steve19438    Posted 02-18-2004 at 07:16:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We took the old handsaw—we didn’t have meat saws, we had to use handsaws—and sawed his backbone open, right down the middle. Start up at his hind legs plumb on down to his head. We just cut his head off. Then, when we done that, that left him in halves. We’d take half out, put it on an old table over here, lay it down there. Then we’d cut it up. We’d cut his forelegs off; we’d call that the hams. Then also his back legs, back hams, we’d cut them off. Then we’d take the ribs out, take a knife and go along, cut between the hog’s flesh in the outside and just take the ribs out of each side. Then we’d cut the, what we call the middlin’s, what we made the bacon out of. We’d cut that up some [two or three words not understood] each side, out of each side of the hog. And, that was all we done at killing the hog and dressing
i often wondered what midlin meat was, thanks for bringing it up!
guess it's not like "mince meat" huh?

Jet9N    Posted 02-18-2004 at 07:55:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am also familiar with the term "fair to middlin"

As far as "ham" goes, the front can also be refered
to as "shoulder" or "picnic" depending on where
you happen to be.


Mike in tn    Posted 02-18-2004 at 08:09:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Jet, what did you do with the head. After we would cut off the jowel meat We used to make head cheese (souse). Always gave the ears to a neighbor that loved hog ear sandwiches.

Mike in tn    Posted 02-18-2004 at 10:59:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
Question should have been to Steve.

steve19438    Posted 02-19-2004 at 06:07:05       [Reply]  [Send Email]
sorry can't answer the question. i got that thread from a interview of an "old timer" who butchered hogs on his farm.

steve19438    Posted 02-18-2004 at 07:06:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
in the movie "old yeller" the dog ate some meat (venison) that was hung out to dry, the meat was referred to as "middlin meat".

jeanette    Posted 02-18-2004 at 06:45:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
ha ha i enjoyed that alias

Wisereader    Posted 02-18-2004 at 06:38:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
When ever my father was asked how he was doing, he would reply "fair to middlin'!"

That is the only use of this I have ever heard.

Cindi    Posted 02-18-2004 at 06:34:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
The way I always heard middlin' used when I was a kid was in reference to the weather...

"How's the weather over there?"

"Middlin' to partly cloudy.."

deadcarp    Posted 02-18-2004 at 06:48:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
around here it gets "Middlin' to partly cloudy to partly sunny, depending on which ear..".

as if this town didn't move slow enough already, now we're expecting them to think :)

Michael M    Posted 02-18-2004 at 06:39:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep, I still use, and hear it frequently, "Fair to Middlin'" to describe things, especially weather and ones mood or condition.
"How you doing today?"
"Oh, fair to middlin..."

Don in Fl    Posted 02-18-2004 at 07:23:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Isn't Middiln also a way of grading tabacco. Not sure but i have heard that it was.

Richard    Posted 08-04-2004 at 14:45:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
"Strict High Middlin’, like the everyday expression 'fair to middlin',' was a grade of cotton. When we got our crop to the gin, they'd take a knife and cut into the bales. The expert would pull the fibers out and fool with them a while, then make his decision, write down the grade, and tie it to the bale of cotton. He'd be looking mostly at the length of the fibers, their strength and their color, and the grades he had to work with, if I remember it right, were Strict High Middlin', High Middlin', Fair to Middlin', Middlin', Low Middlin', and Strict Low Middlin'. Those grades mattered a lot, too: when you got the bales to market, a bale of Strict Low Middlin’ would go for, say, twenty-eight cents a pound, whereas Strict High Middlin’ would get you thirty-five cents."


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