give me some sugar

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Dec 19 17:02:59 UTC 2007

Joan H. Hall <jdhall at WISC.EDU> wrote:
> DARE's entry is at "sugar," where there's plenty of evidence from the
> South and South Midland, from both White and Black speakers. If anyone
> can antedate 1967, though, we'd be happy to have the citation. (We can
> use Dennis's quote for an "as of 1940s" date, but a written example
> would be welcome.)

Via LexisNexis:

Alabama Case Law - HILL v. STATE, 36 Ala. App. 123 (1951)
According to the testimony of Mrs. Olive she went to the residence of the
appellant at about 10 A.M. The defendant and his wife left, but the former soon
returned and the witness and the accused were then in the home alone. Forthwith
after his return, the appellant took hold of the prosecutrix and said: "Give me
some sugar." After refusal and considerable physical resistance, the defendant
cursed the woman, threatened to kill her and declared that he was going to have
sexual relations with her.

There was also a 1949 song entitled "Give Me Some Sugar, Sugar Baby" by The
Three Suns (RCA Victor 3536, B-side of "Soft Lips"). Haven't seen the lyrics
for that, though.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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