"not over my dead body" [was taking Bush serious(ly)]

Kelly Vincent kpvincent at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 4 18:40:03 UTC 2002

>From: pskuhlman at JUNO.COM
>Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Subject: "not over my dead body"  [was taking Bush serious(ly)]
>Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 12:18:17 -0500
>         I often laugh about Bush's language, but "not over my dead body"
>is one I actually grew up saying and hearing said in rural suburban
>Illinois northwest of Chicago in the 60's.  The usage goes something like
>this:  "Not over my dead body will that happen!"  I think it's a sort of
>hyperbolic negation.  I'm not going to let that happen!  It won't happen!
>  Not even over my dead body!
>         I've also heard the positive version "over my dead body", but
>"not over my dead body" is a stronger statement to people who use both
>expressions.  Maybe this is all a bit like the "I could care less" and "I
>couldn't care less" controversy.
>Patricia Kuhlman
>Brooklyn, NY
>pskuhlman at juno.com

I have to second this. I have grown up in Oklahoma hearing both, where the
implied 'even' in "not (even) over my dead body" does seem to make it more
emphatic. I can't say with certainty, but I do think that this version is
used far more frequently than without the 'not'. So perhaps it is a regional


Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: http://messenger.msn.com

More information about the Ads-l mailing list