Query: "file 13" (throw sth. away)

Michael McGrath lgerrd at ROCHESTER.RR.COM
Fri Jan 14 04:34:15 UTC 2005

Long shot: a common size garbage bag is a 13-gallon size.

Mike McGrath
----- Original Message -----
From: "sagehen" <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2005 11:28 PM
Subject: Re: Query: "file 13" (throw sth. away)

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> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Query: "file 13" (throw sth. away)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>    Today a secretary asked me if I know the origin of "file 13" or "file
>>(sth.) in 13,"
>>meaning to throw sth. away. I had never heard this expression and asked
>>her for an example. She said that if she got sth. of no importance, she
>>might say, "Oh, I'll file this in 13," i.e., toss it in the waste-basket.
>>Years ago I heard a similar expression: "I'll file it under G" (for
>>    Has anyone heard of "file 13" or "file it in 13"? And would anyone
>>know why "13" was chosen and not, say, 12?
>>    Any help would be much appreciated.
>>Gerald Cohen
> ~~~~~~
> I haven't heard this, but the choice of "13" woould seem to be a normal
> extension of  superstitions about that number.  Sort of like the
> non-exisence of a 13th floor in some buildings: consigning it to oblivion,
> like dropping it in the oubliette.
> A. Murie

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