OED appeals-give him one

Dale Coye Dalecoye at AOL.COM
Fri Jun 21 15:45:28 UTC 2002

In a message dated 06/20/2002 5:27:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
jester at PANIX.COM writes:

> On Wed, Jun 19, 2002 at 03:53:12PM -0400, Baker, John wrote:
> > I noticed that the nominally updated appeal for "to give someone
> >one" (=sex) doesn't recognize my antedating to Gilbert & Sullivan's
> >Iolanthe ("I heard the minx remark, She'd meet him after dark Inside
> >St. James's Park And give him one").
> This antedating has been entered in OED, and the relevant entry will
> probably be published in next quarter's batch.
> But the Iolanthe example can't mean 'have sex', can it?  If Gilbert had
> thought it had even a hint of that meaning he never would have put it in
> the play.  I always thought it meant that Iolanthe would 'give him a kiss'.
>   Gilbert prided himself on putting on shows that made the theatre
> respectable as opposed to the French who had all kinds of naughty
> implications in their plays.  He was a pillar of respectability.  Maybe
> it's like the phrase 'to make love' which appears in old songs and meant
> something like 'say romantic things' or maybe 'kiss' but since the 60s at
> least has generally been understood to mean copulation.
> Dale Coye

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