Harry Houdini Was Once a Wild Man in the Circus

Daven Hiskey 4

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In the early part of his career, Houdini often performed as a Wild Man in circus shows.  Wild men were sideshow acts where the performer would do crazy things, such as bight the heads of live animals.  “Wild men” were also where the word “geek” came from.

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4 Comments »

  1. Editor April 21, 2011 at 4:44 am - Reply

    “such as bite” rather than “such as bight”

  2. Dave April 21, 2011 at 6:56 am - Reply

    I don’t think that’s the ‘bight’ you’re looking for there.

    bight /bīt/ (noun)
    1. A curve or recess in a coastline, river, or other geographical feature.
    2. A loop of rope, as distinct from the rope’s ends.

  3. Max April 21, 2011 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Quick question: the word “bight” is a term referring to a loop in a rope or a bend or curve, especially in a shoreline. Does that have to do with the animal’s neck, or was that a type error that should have read “bite?”

    • Daven Hiskey
      Daven April 24, 2011 at 12:49 am - Reply

      @Max: Yep, it’s a typo. Should have been “bite” as in to rip the head off with his teeth.

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