CURB NO MORE, Forest Hills

A couple of relics on 70th Road and Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills…

Now that the city will stop installing new “Curb Your Dog” signs and will presumably be removing extant signs (without removing the poop scoop law that was passed in 1978) I’m wondering if this was the first use of “curb” as a verb, in the sense of “have your dog crap in the gutter next to the curb.” From that may have come the wider sense of the verb, as “curb” ┬ácame to mean to “cease behavior” or “limit the numbers of.” I do suspect, though, that the verb came first, and when sidewalks and sidewalk edges were first built in cities, they were called curbs, creating a noun out of the verb.

The city has had all manner of designs on “curb your dog” signs. I think this particular one, green and white with a downward-pointing arrow, is from the late 1960s or early 1970s. No fine information appears on the sign, but some of the signs still have a $100 or lower amount; the figure has now risen to $250. I imagine the city is tired of paying for new signs every time the fine goes up. When I see some more of these old signs, I’ll capture them before they go the way of the dodo bird.

Also not to be ignored are the old prices on the gas pumps. Will we ever see a big number 1 after the dollar sign ever again?


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3 Responses to CURB NO MORE, Forest Hills

  1. Jeff says:

    “Will we ever see a big number 1 after the dollar sign ever again?”

    Yes, of course we will – when prices hit $10/gal.

  2. Captain Jack says:

    You will see a 1 in the first column when gas goes up to $10/gal.

  3. Joe Brennan says:

    Curb as a verb, meaning restrain, goes back centuries, but this euphemism does not. It’s a satisfying double entendre combining the basic “restrain your dog” with a reference to the “curb” of the street. Would “kerb your dog” put it across in London?

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