taboo attraction?

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Wed Jan 8 03:10:50 UTC 2003

I would place it between monkeying around and a con job. Something along the
lines of "don't lead me on" or "don't try to put one over on me."

I've never heard "handjob" in this context, but I have heard "jerk off" as
in "you better not be jerking me off." (Jerk around is a common
euphemism--or perhaps the original from.) There's also a hand motion that
can substitute for the words.

> I would take this to mean a frivolous action or monkeying
> around, not a
> con job...
> Benjamin Barrett
> Bringing tiramisu and mont blanc to Seattle
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society
> [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of Laurence Horn
> Sent: Tuesday, 07 January, 2003 17:11
> Subject: taboo attraction?
> (as opposed to taboo avoidance)
> On a recent NYPD blue, the head of the squad, Lt. Tony Rodriguez, uses
> "hand job" in the sense of 'con job'.  He's talking to his
> ex-wife, who
> is trying to get off drugs, explaining how he had to call in a lot of
> favors to get her into a detox center in Brooklyn. "So if this is
> another hand job...", he says.  To which she assures him that
> no, she's
> really serious about quitting this time.  Is this use of the compound
> otherwise attested?  Or were they just trying to see if we were paying
> attention and/or trying to earn their "viewer discretion" label?
> larry

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