Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

« Legends of True Crime Reporting: Edmund Lester Pearson | Main | Legends of True Crime Reporting: Thomas DeQuincey »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ron Franscell

From ....

Perhaps you have wondered, like me, why New Orleans' newspaper is the Times-Picayune ... especially since the word picayune means "of little importance or value." Or maybe you haven't.

But, frankly, if I worked for a newspaper whose flag declared boldly it had little importance or value, I'd want to investigate further. So I went in search of an answer, and here's what I found, courtesy of word-maven Michael Quinion:

"An odd name for a newspaper, you may feel. But when its precursor, the New Orleans Picayune, began life on 25 January 1837, the main sense of the word was that of a small coin. It was at first applied in Florida and Louisiana to the Spanish half-real, worth just over six cents; in the early nineteenth century it was transferred to the US five-cent piece. The proprietors of the new newspaper gave it that name because that’s what a copy cost.

"The Beeville Bee-Picayune in Texas took its name from the New Orleans newspaper more than a century ago as a sort of homage. Could this be true also of other journals that include the word in their titles? The town of Picayune, Mississippi, was given its name by Eliza Jane Poitevent Nicholson, the owner and publisher of the New Orleans Daily Picayune, who grew up in nearby Pearlington.

"Scholars are less than totally certain about where the word came from, though the immediate origin is the French picaillon for an old copper coin of Savoy (in modern French, picaillons is a slangy term for money). In turn that derived from Provençal picaioun. Here the trail peters out, but that might have been taken from Italian piccolo, little or small, or more probably from Provençal piquar, to clink or sound."

Zoe Brown

I was hoping someone might be able to help me with a problem i'm having, i'm trying to find information on a court case in Boston in the late 1920's. It was a rape case against 2 men but when the jury found out that she had a tattoo, the case was dropped as she was said to be guilty of contributary negligence. I am looking for this info for my disertation which is on tattoo's so it will be an excellent case study! I would greatly appreciate any help!


hey there!
just visiting your wonderful, wonderful site again. it is amazing how much information there is here!

wondering if you have any idea how many people purchase true crime books each year. i'm trying to get a handle on the numbers and i'm having the darndest time. thought it would be easy to pin down, but it's not.

if you have any thoughts or a referral to a location online that might be able to help me pin down some sales numbers, i'd much appreciate it.

keep up the good work!


The comments to this entry are closed.

Search CLEWS

  • Google