A few people wondered where the Pokey Moonshine name originated.
Surfing the web led to many interesting side paths.
So, read on for the convoluted path to the origins of Pokey Moonshine.
Original Website where I saw the article. It has details on finding the waterfall:
Here’s the Definition of Moonshine:
· Granny from the 1960s television series The Beverly Hillbillies runs a moonshine still by the Clampett family swimming pool (also referred to as the "cement pond") and refers to the product as rheumatism medicine and as an ingredient in her "spring tonic" and claims to drink only a thimbleful at a time. Several subplots of the show's episodes focused on a humorous situation involving Granny's liquor. Every cast member of The Beverly Hillbillies was seen drinking moonshine at one point in time during the show's history. It was also used occasionally to power the family truck, though Uncle Jed felt it was hard on the engine.
Slang., pl. -keys also -kies. A jail or prison.[Origin unknown.]
So you might conclude that Pokey Moonshine came from “If you make the moonshine you’ll wind up in the pokey!”
Let’s dig some more…
Etymology: perhaps modification of Virginia Algonquian pocone, poughkone puccoon
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French
Date: 13th century
How about Pig in a Poke?
Can you please tell me what the phrase "pig in a poke" is supposed to mean? My mother has used it my whole life and she doesn't even know what it means.
Well, your mother must have some idea what "pig in a poke" means, mustn't she? I mean, she doesn't use it as an all-purpose expression of amazement ("Pig in a poke! That's a good cup of coffee!") or, conversely, a scathing epithet ("That Muriel, she's a real little pig in a poke."). My guess is that she knows that "to buy a pig in a poke" means, as the Oxford English Dictionary puts it, "to buy anything without seeing it or knowing its value." Your mother probably just doesn't know what a "poke" is, or what a pig would be doing in one.
That's not surprising, given how rarely one sees a "poke" these
days. The "poke" in "pig in a poke" is an archaic word for
"bag" or "sack." When you went to market hundreds of years
ago, you'd most likely come home with your purchases in such a "poke"
-- not one of those filmy and annoying things you get at supermarkets today,
but a proper sack, made of burlap or canvas or the like. Since merchants at the
farmers' markets of 14th century
By the way, can you guess what other common phrase came from the moment when the dishonest merchant's ruse was revealed and the unlucky buyer learned the true nature of his purchase? That's right -- "letting the cat out of the bag."
Hmmm, maybe Pokey Moonshine came from the definition of Poke as a sack or bag and Moonshine meaning foolish talk or nonsense – a “Sack of Nonsense”.
Surfin’ and googlin’ some more:
Gumby & Pokey:
And two gamer’s Pokey:
Pac-Man: Competitors and distributors were taken
completely by surprise by Pac-Man's success in
Super-Mario: A Pokey is a cactus monster that is composed of three to five spherical body segments. To defeat a Pokey, typically each body section must be destroyed. Pokeys, like Shy Guys and Bob-ombs, originate from the non-Mario game Doki Doki Panic, which later became Super Mario Bros. 2.
How about the Hokey
A song rendered "with appropriate gestures" by two
I put my right hand in, I put my right hand out,
I give my right hand a shake, shake shake And I turn myself about.
As the song continues, the "left hand" is put in, then the "right foot," then the "left foot," then "my whole head."
...Newell gave it the title, "Right Elbow In," and said that is was danced " deliberately and decorously...with slow rhythmical motion."
Another take on Hokey-Pokey:
Italian immigrants were grossly
exploited labour, often lodged in poor conditions and
paid little; during the winter they often worked as hurdy-gurdy men. Every
morning in summer they cranked and froze the ice cream mix they had made the
previous night, and went their rounds in London, Glasgow, Manchester, and other
growing industrial cities crying, 'Gelati, ecco un poco!' It is thought
to be because of their cry that ice-cream vendors were called 'hokey pokey men'
and the ice cream they sold 'hokey pokey', a term which became common also in
pokey ho. Hokey-pokey, a penny a lump. Hokey-pokey, find a cake; hokey-pokey on the lake. Here's
the stuff to make your jump;
Hokey-pokey, penny a lump. Hokey-pokey, sweet and cold; For a penny, new or old."
Or Hokey-Pokey Elmo:
Hokey Spokes, totally cool, dude:
Different spelling of Hokey:
Hokie in Virginia Tech is the bird mascot. The word,
which originated from the Old Hokie spirit yell,
penned in 1896, is often used interchangeably with "Fighting
Gobblers" to refer to sports teams, fans, students, or alumni. For your added enjoyment, here's the
Old Hokie cheer:
Hoki, Hoki, Hoki, Hy. Techs, Techs, V.P.I. Sola-Rex, Sola-Rah. Polytechs - Vir-gin-ia.
Finally, A Real Live “Pokey Moonshine” Citation:
Excerpt from this website: http://www.bytown.net/manotickstation.htm
When I first began researching my ancestors, people would tell me that Manotick
Station was a great exporter of tea to the
. I couldn't figure this out. United States
? It turns out that the Canada was known as the villageof Manotick Station
"Pokey Moonshine Settlement" and, during prohibition in the
, "tea" was sent USA
from here. Also, J. Edgar Hoover was a visitor to the Manotick Station US
area in the 1920's.
I think we are getting closer to the origin:
Princeton is a town in
The town encompasses most of
The Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation is located just north of the main village in
OK, as I suspected I bet it’s derived from an Indian place name:
History of Camp Pok-o-Moonshine:
Dr. Charles Alexander Robinson founded Camp Pok-O-Moonshine for boys in 1905. In it's earliest years, the camp served as a setting for both summer education and recreation. From the beginning, a loyal and enthusiastic staff and campers from around the world helped camp to thrive.
The camp was named after a nearby mountain with sheer cliffs, Poke-O-Moonshine, from an Algonquin word meaning “Pohqui” (broken) and “Moosi” (smooth).
The Boating Docks, circa 1918.
The camp prospered under Dr. Robinson's tutelage and in the
1940s his daughter, Sarah Robinson Swan and her husband,
Under the direction of Jack Swan, the camp has expanded
enormously. In 1967,
Many other changes have occurred since camp’s inception. In
the 1970s, the
Throughout the camp’s long history, the driving force has been the enthusiastic leadership of one family. While Jack continues to act as camp advisor, Jack's children, Margaret, Sharpe, and David serve as Assistant Directors for various summer and year-round operations. In addition, several 4th and 5th- generation descendants of the Robinson-Swan family are campers and counselors, continuing to uphold the tradition of the world's oldest private camp under one family's direction.
Here’s a link to photos of the sheer cliffs of Mount Poke-O-Moonshine:
So, I would conclude that Pokey-Moonshine is a kiddie kludge of Poke-O-Moonshine from the Indian words for broken and smooth.
From: Onno Kluyt [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 6:54 PM
Subject: RE: rbc-list: rbcultra:
What a funny story!
How did you stumble upon it?
And, is ride 91 or ride 39 scheduled for this year!?
On Jan 30, 2008, at 2:53 PM, Mark Frank wrote:
Pokey-Moonshine Road is on the
Sunday, June 8, 1952
Sunday, June 8, 1952
By Bill Cartwright
It all started a couple of years ago
when in connection with a story I wrote on outstanding waterfalls in western
Very shortly another letter arrived from
My reader’s persistence amazed me. He reported that he was writing to Chambers of Commerce at Dansville and near-by towns. He subsequently wrote me that such inquiries had drawn a blank. But, he was going to keep trying. Some of his wife’s relatives lived in the, vicinity and when he visited them he would continue his search. I began to envision an endless; quest. So I called up the people who had introduced us to Pokey-Moonshine on that long ago picnic. Could they tell me, please, just how to find the spot. Well, they said, you drive through a village, went a mile or two, turned off on a dirt road, plunged down into a little clump of woods, passed over a rustic bridge and there you were. Just beyond the bridge a little turn-off to the left led down to a slight drop and a grassy spot where you could park your car. A clean, clear bubbling brook raced past. And, there on the shore of the brook, someone had built a rustic cabin many years before. Its walls were made from flat stones and mortar. The roof was beamed with railroad rails and made solid with stones and mortar. There was a big fireplace on the outside, and a slab and mortar stone table and several benches.
Yes, we agreed, it was one of the prettiest little
spots we had ever visited. But our friends were in complete disagreement as to
its whereabouts. The husband claimed it was near this spot. The wife was sure
it was nearer that! We reported back to our reader, and vowed to make the trip
ourselves again someday, and, of course, pass on our findings. We saw ourselves
tossing a contemptuous forelock at
But time crept up on us. There were things to do
around the house, and the weather was never right. But then we made a mistake
and mentioned the situation to our editor, who replied, "Go find
We climbed from the car. I left my wife to take care of our small ones and pushed my way through the woods beside the brook, downstream some four or five hundred feet. The noise of the falls came to me again. I took off my shoes and waded through the brook, climbed around and over a little knoll, and then saw my waterfall. It’s still a beauty. The brook at that point spreads out, drops over a little cascade, and, without pausing, it splashes out and down and down. The falls are about thirty feet wide and seventy-five feet high, and they are beautiful, well worth seeking out and enjoying. If you didn’t know how to find them and didn’t know they were there, you could go through life never guessing, never knowing. But, now that you know, you ought to take a look at them. They’re quite a sight.
This is the way to get there: go to Wayland, N. Y., and start at the traffic