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My impression of the bridge between the two meanings, based ... it was boxers' slang for someone easily defeated, a pushover.

That is a curious definition though, if it is accurate. Beastly parents I'd say.

Well, I now have a slightly less vague memory: a comic strip in which a wretched boxer, on first seeing what his opponent looked like, exclaimed "Moider, I'm pantywaist". This for some reason struck my brother & me as funny (very likely we had never heard the word before), and it became part of the family language for a while.

The oi, of course, represents that wonderful diphthong that used to stand in for both "ur" and "oi" in New York City & environs. I haven't heard it for a while.

Joe Fineman joe (Email Removed)