Michael B Quinion michael at QUINION.COM
Mon Jan 28 11:14:39 UTC 2002

A World Wide Words subscriber has queried an expression as follows:
"My mother used to threaten to 'marilyze' (spelling?) us when we were
kids. I can't find it in any dictionary under any spelling I can
contrive." Neither can I. Can anyone decode this one?

Additional information: both the subscriber and her husband know it
separately from their childhoods, suggesting that it is at least a
regional expression. One mother grew up in Philadelphia and the other
in rural southern New Jersey, both of English-Irish ancestry.

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: <editor at>
Web: <>

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