A new use of "duh?"

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Tue Mar 7 17:20:13 UTC 2006

>Wilson Gray wrote:
>> The passage of time probably explains everything. No shit (Sherlock) / no
>> shit (Shinola) dates to the late '40's - early '50's in speech. That it
>> should have precisely the same meaning a half-century later is not to be
>> expected.
>And later clarified:
>> Finally, as  soon as I had clicked on "Send," I realized that I had crossed
>> "no shit" with "you don't know shit from Shinola" to get the non-occurring
>> "No shit, Shinola."
>What are the earliest cites we have for "no shit, Sherlock" anyway?
>There's just one "Sherlock" cite in the OED3 draft entry for "no shit"
>and it's late (1994). And what about the closely related "no shit,
>Dick Tracy"? Did the two forms come of age around the same time? I can
>find cites for "Dick Tracy" from 1978-79 on Amazon/Google Book Search,
>but it shows up in two memoirs recalling the '50s (from c. 1952 in
>John Singlaub's _Hazardous Duty_ and from 1957 in Leonard Bird's
>_Folding Paper Cranes_).
>--Ben Zimmer
FWIW, "no shit, Sherlock"  was never said in my hearing in the '30s & '40s
in the midwest.  Of course, "shit" wasn't as freely bandied about then,
either, but it wasn't unheard.  The reason I can be pretty certain about
the "Sherlock" part is that it was my father's name, & hardly heard at all
anywhere, having been put pretty nearly out of use by the Holmes character,
except as a fairly rare surname.  Watson almost never addressed his friend
as Sherlock, and always referred to him as "Holmes."
A. Murie

W stands for >:<  War ____Waste___Wiretaps____Witchhunts  >:<

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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