Teen Lingo site

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Fri Feb 18 03:04:26 UTC 2005

On Feb 17, 2005, at 9:07 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Teen Lingo site
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> At 8:49 PM -0500 2/17/05, Wilson Gray wrote:
>> From the Teen Lingo site found by Patti Kurtz:
>> beast
>>    n. Someone who dominates on the basketball court.
> For a while in the 80's, the expression "Beast of the East" was used
> in a college basketball context to pick out whichever team was
> dominant at a given time, in particular Georgetown of the Patrick
> Ewing era ('81-'85).    Wonder if this relates to the above.
>> Back in the late '50's in Los Angeles, "beast" was used by black male
>> college students to mean "girl friend." I assume that this application
>> was extracted from the saying, "[NP] not fit for man or beast"/"[NP]
>> fit for neither man nor beast."
> Hmmm.  As in the W. C. Fields line?  But that was about the
> weather--"It ain't a fit night out for man nor beast" (please
> correct, Fred)
> larry

Re "beast" as "girl friend": the source, whatever its actual reading,
could very well be the quotation from W. C. Fields. But what Fields was
referring to doesn't matter, since the use of "beast" for "girl friend"
was understood as a pun, as though "man" meant an individual male human
being and not humanity and "beast" meant an individual non-male human
being and not the animal kingdom.


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