Cabbage Stump Night

Cabbage Stump Night (or merely Cabbage Night) appears to be an American variant of northern England's Mischief Night, celebrated on the night before Halloween. Once again, it's something I had never heard of before. From

Cabbage Stump Nights are not well chronicled. New Jersey apparently had its "cabbage night'' when cabbages were hurled at houses, but ours bettered that because cabbages do not fit small hands for throwing...
Cabbages have a distinctive and proper root for Cabbage Stump Night because it is the rubbery equivalent of a Little League baseball bat — pliant, easy to grasp and packing a mighty wallop.
Proper celebration of Cabbage Stump Night was to make a stealthy advance upon a peaceful household, beat the bejabbers out of the side of the house or the front door and skedaddle as fast as you could in the getaway. The alternative to escape was to receive a belt in the behind from the householder.
There would be no damage to the house because of the softness of the root, but the racket inside the house was a shock wave.

There's a few more details about it in the Dictionary of American Regional English.


Posted on Fri Nov 06, 2009


Jeeze, why not just leave a flaming bag of dog sh*t on the porch? Because scaring the bejeezus out of people is FUNNY! Jerks.
Posted by Kristen55  in  Seattle, WA  on  Fri Nov 06, 2009  at  03:38 PM
I've been familiar with Mischief Night for years, but this is the first I've heard of Cabbage Night.

Perhaps smaller kids could have Brussel Sprouts Night? They're like little miniature ("fun-sized" according to Halloween candy nomenclature?) cabbages.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Fri Nov 06, 2009  at  05:53 PM
Is this the night when Cabbage Patch Kids are conceived?
Posted by Tah  in  Idaho (Yes, Idaho)  on  Sat Nov 07, 2009  at  01:02 AM
We called it Devil's Night in Detroit when I grew up there in the 60's and 70's. It has since been officially outlawed. The mischief turned from soaping windows and ringing doorbells, to setting trash fires and more recently to out right arson. In a city with thousands of derelict buildings, it was, sadly, inevitable.
Posted by ccc  in  rochester  on  Mon Nov 09, 2009  at  11:33 AM
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