Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap in Chiselville?



You have heard of: ‘wrong side of the tracks’ ‘dogtown’ ‘irish town’ and all sorts of slang for areas of a town or city. In the 1800’s Carleton Place had an area of town that had a name that was in everyone’s vocabulary. The area of town that sat between Miguel Street and Lake Ave East was called Chiselville. There is a Chiselville bridge in Vermont, but last I looked there was no bridge in the vicinity.

The Carleton Place Herald made mention that they had no idea when or how the area got the name. There was certainly no stigma attached to it, for the word then did not carry the unpleasant suggestion that modern slang had attached to it. Did they mean the inhabitants of the area had a notoriety of being cheap? Or– did they work hard for their money by doing dirty deeds done dirt cheap?

chisel (v.)
1500, “to break with a chisel,” from chisel (n.). Slang sense of “to cheat, defraud” is first recorded in 1808 as chizzel; origin and connection to the older word are obscure (compare slang sense of gouge); chiseler in this sense is from 1918. Related: Chiseled; chiseling.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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