"on general principles"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Dec 3 00:26:38 UTC 2005

On 12/1/05, Jim Parish <jparish at siue.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "on general principles"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> George Thompson wrote:
> > My father frequently used the expression "on general principles" to
> > signify that something had been done for no particular reason, but
> > just for the hell of it.  He might say that he had bought something of
> > no obvious use "on general principles" or that the cops had arrested
> > someone "on general principles".
> The phrase was common in my family as well, often shortened to a shrugged
> "GP".
> Jim Parish
> -------------------------------------------------
> SIUE Web Mail

This wasn't specifically by my family, but I'm quite familiar with it as a
part of black street talk in St. Louis, where a simple "GP" was also used.
>From Texas, I know "just for fee-yoo-in," which contains an obvious
modification of the spelling, f-u-n, of "fun."
-Wilson Gray

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