NABOKV-L post 0019450, Fri, 19 Feb 2010 07:32:07 -0800

Re: QUERY: Red Wop
Sacco and Vanzetti  was the name of the most popular factory in the Soviet Union. They were making pencils. I believe it still exists.
Best, Vladimir M.

From: Jerry Friedman <jerryfriedman1@GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thu, February 18, 2010 8:30:41 PM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] QUERY: Red Wop

Brian Boyd says in /Nabokov's Pale Fire/, p. 204, "her 'powder'-'red wop' calls up in a flash an immigrant anarchist planting a bomb."

Wikipedia says, "The men [Sacco and Vanzetti] were followers of Luigi Galleani, an Italian anarchist who advocated revolutionary violence, including bombing and assassination. Galleani published Cronaca Sovversiva (Subversive Chronicle), a periodical that advocated violent revolution, and an explicit bomb-making manual called La Salute è in voi!. At the time, Italian anarchists ranked at the top of the American government's list of dangerous enemies and had been identified as suspects in several violent bombings and assassination attempts..."

I associate anarchism with black more than red, but that may not be relevant.

The only similar term I know for cheap Italian red wine is "dago red", and I think I know that mostly from /M*A*S*H/.

Jerry Friedman

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:33 PM, Matthew Roth <> wrote:

A simple query. VN, we are told, found "delightful" the mirror words powder and "red wop." What does red wop mean? I read somewhere that it was slang word for cheap Italian wine. Is that right? If so, why is this particular inversion delightful? Is there some connection between powder and wine that I'm missing?
>Matt Roth

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