Suggestive Names

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Jun 13 19:02:31 UTC 2006

It startled me, too.  How do they get away with it ?  Just like Stephen Sondheim, in _West Side Story_ , got away with

  "And we're gonna beat
  Ev'ry last buggin' gang
On the whole buggin' street !
On the whole !
Ever !
Mother !
Lovin' !
Street !"

  It wasn't network TV, but it *was* 1957.

  Somehow this ex. of "bugging" as a euphemism is missing from HDAS 1, which includes an early ex. from Harold Robins (_The Dream Merchants_, 1949).


Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: Re: Suggestive Names

At 9:27 AM -0400 6/13/06, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> I'm too fucking busy, and vice versa.
>Actually, we've discussed this on the list; it's a mot attributed to
>Dorothy Parker ("Tell him I'm too fucking busy, and vice versa"). As
>I recall, there was the usual debate over whether this was an actual
>or apocryphal witticism--in either case, it is at least the classic
>"mot d'escalier".
Actually, I can't find it on the archive--"You can lead a
horticulture but you can't make her think", "You're the young man who
doesn't know how to spell 'fuck'", and so on, but not the above. But
it does seem to be standardly attributed to her, in particular as a
response to an editor who was dunning her about a deadline. Fred, do
you have this one in YDOQ?

On a related topic, there's a commercial getting a lot of play for
Burger King on behalf of a product that has evidently morphed from
"Big Buckin Chicken" to "Big Huckin Chicken", although it's hard not
to hear it as something else. See
for discussion. I don't quite know how they get away with it.


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