View Poll Results: Is it a strap or a strop?

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  • Strap

    4 4.08%
  • Strop

    91 92.86%
  • Other / Who cares?

    5 5.10%
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  1. #1
    Never a dull moment hoglahoo's Avatar
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    Default Some say strap, some say strop. OED to the rescue!

    My friend mslovacek who introduced me to straight razors several years ago (and introduced the word hoglahoo to the English language) also introduced to me the razor strap, which he called a strop. Most members here call it a strop, and many strap manufacturers emblazen the word strop on their products as well as in their names such as the Illinois Strop Company.

    Below is the part where I muse to myself and enjoy recalling some of my earlier straight razor shaving days. For brevity's sake, please skip over it quickly
    A few months into joining SRP I happened to start talking to some of my guy friends and family about old time shaving and found out that without fail anyone who I met who had actually used a straight razor back in the day called it a strap. And it made sense to me. It is in fact just a strap of material. Why strop? I theorized that maybe the English used the word strap but pronounced it in such a way that some Americans misunderstood the phonetic differences between American English and British English and assumed that since strap sounded like strop to them, they assumed it was spelled strop. whew!
    On to my recent re-discovery! I don't know how much I can legally reproduce here, but I will take my chances with a short excerpt in jpeg format. I looked up the word strap in the Oxford English Dictionary printed in 1985 and found among its definitions this one below (#8). I don't know exactly how to read some of the OED abbreviations as I am a little lazy to look them up again (I keep forgetting) but it appears that "razor-strop: = Strop sb. 3." is referring to that specific definition of strop elsewhere in the OED (so, a strap is a strop. thank you.) Obs = obsolete and "exc. dial." I assume means "except dialectical" (which makes me again wonder if this was just a rural American thing that has since died out from its widespread usage with the reduced necessity of razor-straps as technology evolved.)

    My favo(u)rite line is the 1859 reference from "Dict. Amer. (ed. 2) which states that
    a razor-strop is, with us, generally called a razor-strap.
    Apparently, it was just an American thing and not even used to the exclusion of razor-strop. Strop is foreign to me. Strap makes sense and people who are not familiar with straight razor lingo know what I mean when I say "I have to use a leather strap to keep my razor sharp." Trivial or not, it's interesting to some degree

    Thanks for reading, I have enjoyed it
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    - Lee

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  3. #2
    Senior Member ChrisL's Avatar
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    I say strop, but strap sounds fine to me. What bugs me, and I don't know where it comes from (maybe I'm ignorant to this and the following is accepted):......STROPE

    I've heard people pronounce strop as strope with a long O. Even a barber in his late twenties who's never shaved himself nor shaved anyone else with a traditional straight edge razor pronounced it Strope when I was talking with him recently.

    What's the deal with STROPE??? Is it legit, or is it like: "EXPRESSO"?

    Chris L
    Last edited by ChrisL; 09-05-2008 at 04:20 AM.

  4. #3
    Senior Member kevint's Avatar
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    "The powder of black lead..."

    I've grown accustomed to your insistence on saying strap so it doesn't bother me anymore

    In fact I may start saying it myself.
    Last edited by kevint; 09-05-2008 at 04:14 AM.

  5. #4
    Bay Rum Enthusiast
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    When refering to a device with which to polish the edge of one's straight razor, it's pronounced strop.

    When refering to the device my father applied to the behind's of my brother's and I when we misbehaved, it's pronounced strap.

  6. #5
    Life is short, filled with Stuff joke1176's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L View Post
    I say strop, but strap sounds fine to me. What bugs me, and I don't know where it comes from (maybe I'm ignorant to this and the following is accepted):......STROPE

    I've heard people pronounce strop as strope with a long O. Even a barber in his late twenties who's never shaved himself nor shaved anyone else with a traditional straight edge razor pronounced it Strope when I was talking with him recently.

    What's the deal with STROPE??? Is it legit, or is it like: "EXPRESSO"?

    Chris L

    Can I ax you a question? Irregardless of there intent's, grammer shouldnt effect its' useage eg for razor's.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Tony Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawman2 View Post
    When refering to a device with which to polish the edge of one's straight razor, it's pronounced strop.

    When refering to the device my father applied to the behind's of my brother's and I when we misbehaved, it's pronounced strap.

    That is exactly what I was going to say. Everyone I talk to about these relates one of two stories... they remeber their grandfather sharpening a razor on a RAZOR STROP or someone beating one's backside with a RAZOR STRAP. Many who call me on the phone though ask about a RAZOR STROPE, pronounced with a long "O".

    I myself use RAZOR STROP when things go well in the shop and I am pleased with the hides, or a variety of words I cannot type here when my supplier send trash instead<g>

    Tony

  8. #7
    Senior Member Mike7120's Avatar
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    I will admit, when I first started shaing with a straight I pronounced Strop as Strope with a long "O". I think it was from watching too many youtube videos.

  9. #8
    Face nicker RichZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawman2 View Post
    When refering to a device with which to polish the edge of one's straight razor, it's pronounced strop.

    When refering to the device my father applied to the behind's of my brother's and I when we misbehaved, it's pronounced strap.

    This is exactly what I was thinking. After all it would sound kind of wierd for your father to say " I am going to strope your behind" That would have really scared me.. ..

  10. #9
    Know thyself holli4pirating's Avatar
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    I voted other/who cares, but I wanted to clarify. What I really mean is "who cares?" When we see one or the other, we know what is being referred to. No reason to get up in arms about it, so long as everyone is respectful. As far as I'm concerned, it's a case of "you say potato, I say potato."

    Similarly, some people might refer to the same part of a razor with different terms (i.e. tang vs shank). As long as the use of more than one term does not confuse people, I don't see what the big deal is.

  11. #10
    Slow learner Dicestone's Avatar
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    Default I say strop my ass says strap

    When I was a kid my dad had an old strop that had the swivle cut off. He used it to teach me the correct ways of life. It might have been a strop but my ass knew it was a strap.

    DS

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