"That's the ticket (for soup)!" (1828)
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Thu Jul 8 02:47:35 UTC 2004
THAT'S THE TICKET--31,000 Google hits, 53,600 Google Groups hits
_That's the ticket_
_Kerry picks Sen. John Edwards as his running mate_
--AM NEW YORK, 7 July 2004, pg. 1 headline.
A NEW YORK POST "exclusive" yesterday was Dick Gephart as the Veep
Jon Lovitz popularized "that's the ticket!" on Saturday Night Live in the
late 1980s. Hoever, its a much, much older term.
Does it come for the French "etiquette"? This sound like a false
Does it come from "that the ticket for soup"? Possibly.
I'm at home right now and away from the databases Literature Online,
American Periodical Series Online, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, and
Accessible Archives. I expect that Early American Newspapers will have "that's the
ticket," when that database is released soon (in, uh, the second quarter of
(PROQUEST HISTORICAL NEWSPAPERS) ("that's the ticket" and "slang" or
1. HOPKINS AND I GO RIDING ON THE "L" -- ARE THESE THINGS POSSIBLE?
A.K.. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Nov 13, 1904. p.
SMA2 (1 page)
LARGE TREES OF CALIFORNIA.
The Washington Post (1877-1954). Washington, D.C.: Aug 24, 1913. p. MT5 (1
_"THAT'S THE TICKET."_
"That's the ticket," an expression which signifies "that's all right," is
derived from the French etiquette, meaning that which is good form.
Strangely enough the word etiquette is in itself derived from ticket. The
rules and regulations for ladies and gentlemen at court were written or
printed on pieces of cards, called tickets (or etiquettes in French) and from this
came the word etiquette, meaning proper conduct for all persons.
2. HOW IT STARTED; "That's the Ticket!"
JEAN NEWTON. Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File). Los Angeles, Calif.: Jan
7, 1924. p. A4 (1 page):
This is a favorite manner, in rough-and-ready company, of daying "That's
just right--that's the proper way." So typical of what Europeans would dub
American slang, it is to the French language that we must go for its origin!
"That's the ticket" is a corruption of the French "C'est L'etiquette,"
which has the same meaning of "that is the proper way." The play is on the
French word "etiquette," which means "ticket" or "label" as well as etiquette. In
fact, the first is its primary meaning:
Pronounced quickly, it is easily comprehensible how "C'est l'etiquette"
should have been corrupted by slang-loving visitors like doughboys, for
instance, into "That's the ticket," in which form it has found its way to these
(CASSELL DICTIONARY OF SLANG)
_that's the ticket_ phr. [mid-19C+] just what it wanted, the ideal thing;
occas. as _that's the ticket for soup_. [the "soup" ref. stems from the cards
given out to beggars entitling them to a free meal at a soup kitchen]
1856 Punch XXXI. 194 The old ‘Stand and deliver!’ 's all rot; Three to one;
hit behind; with a wipe round the jowl, boys, That's the ticketand Vive la
Garotte!..Let them cly-fake, we'll tip the Garotte.
1856 ‘C. BEDE’ Tales Coll. Life i. 19 That's the ticket! that will just
land me in time for Gates.
9. slang. a. The correct thing; what is wanted, expected, or
fashionable; esp. in phr. that's the ticket.
Perh. from 8; or, as some have suggested, from the winning ticket in a
1838 HALIBURTON Clockm. Ser. II. xxi. 323 They ought to be hanged, sir, (
that's the ticket, and he'd whop the leader). 1843 E. FITZGERALD Lett. (1889) I.
117, I fancy that moderately high hills (like these) are the ticket. 1847
Ibid. 179 This [idealizing of portraits] is all wrong. Truth is the ticket. 1854
THACKERAY Newcomes vii, Somehow she's notshe's not the ticket. 1866
Routledge's Ev. Boy's Ann. 411 That's the ticket! That's the winning game.
Delaware Weekly Advertiser And Farmers Journal Thursday, September 04,
1828 Wilmington, Delaware
...rifjht now." Paddy did so. "THAT'S THE TICKET for said bis monitor; "Now
mind.....of THE Revolution who are entitled to THE benefits oi THE
Pg. 4, col. 1:
(Titled "SCIENCE OF BRITISH FANCY, From a late London Paper."--ed.)
"That's the ticket for soup," said his monitor;...
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