Fwd: retro "psych"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Apr 25 14:33:22 UTC 2005

"Psych(e) !" was common among schoolkids in the '80s, according to contemporary reports.

"Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Arnold M. Zwicky"
Subject: Fwd: retro "psych"

first, an exchange between me and larry horn:

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Laurence Horn
> Date: April 8, 2005 7:51:15 AM PDT
> To: "Arnold M. Zwicky"
> Subject: Re: retro "psych"
> At 6:10 AM -0700 4/8/05, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>> my Stanford student Tommy Grano reports a use of retro "psych", used
>> like retro "not" (by conveying 'I just psyched you out'). this was
>> when he was in grade school in Santa Barbara, ca. 1992, and the kids
>> didn't continue the usage through later years.
>> have you heard of this, or was it (as is entirely possible) just a
>> short-lived local fad in a very small language community? if it had
>> more general use, it might be worth mentioning on ADS-L.
> It's real. I remember it, but mostly from TV shows, as I recall, not
> real life. Maybe it really was specifically Californian, including
> Hollywood productions.

Grano now reports:
>From last week's issue of the Onion:
A guy would have to be crazy to try something like that, is that what
you're thinking? Brother, I'm your worst nightmare. Sure, I have a job
that pays well right now. You know that—you verified my employment
history. But who's to say I'm going to have that job next year, next
month, or next week? Hey, I might not even have it tomorrow. In fact,
I'm feeling like I might just call my boss and tell him off right now.
Can I borrow your phone? No problem. I have my cell.

Psyche! See, you've gotta be on your toes around me. How can I take you
seriously if you frighten that easily?
with a link to the quoted article (which will only work for another
couple of weeks or so):

has this made it into anybody else's files?


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