When I wrote the original post “Are you half-fast?”, I thought it was obvious that “half-fast” had two meanings: 1) that we aren’t bike racers and we’re not really fast, but we’re not exactly slow; 2) that we are not a serious club and it was a pun on “half-assed”, meaning “insufficient, haphazard, not well planned or executed”. I am not usually one to explain my jokes; that is the domain of the other side of the family.
I wondered about the origin of the term so, being an erudite scholar with degrees from Wossamotta U. and the School of Hart Knox, I decided to do what any scholar would do and look it up.
Lo and behold, I found multiple sites trying to determine whether the actual term was “half-assed” or half-fast”. Most of them seemed to sort it out pretty quickly. Someone actually tried to claim the term is half-fast and has the meaning “doing a job in half the time it would take to do it fast”, citing the example, “My teenage son ironed his shirt in two minutes and did a real half fast job.” Considering the source, I think they knew exactly what they were saying but wanted to mess with readers.
I also found out that half-fast has been around since at least 1961 and referred then to a walking club, which was started by jazz musician Pete Fountain. Since we’re on the subject of Mardi Gras (if you followed the link you would know that The Half fast Walking Club is a Mardi Gras Krewe; also Marid Gras was this week), I have to add a link to the Wild Tchoupitoulas.
Since I wrote this post I found another half-fast cycling club, this one in Tokyo. If you’re ever riding in Tokyo, say hi from me.