Richard A. Spears

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jan 4 16:01:56 UTC 2007

"Take off like a big-ass[ed] bird" is not uncommon in WWII novels.

  "Unass" didn't start appearing in print (AFAIK) until Vietnam.


Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Wilson Gray
Subject: Richard A. Spears

_Slang and Euphemism_

lacks "take off [like a big bird]" = "leave hurriedly." The long form
I'm familiar with from my Army days. Military jargon, for some reason,
appears to hold more fossils than civilian slang. Long forms such as
"shitcan [someone]," "hit the [fart]sack," "be a [shit]heel, a
dip[shit], a dick[head]," etc. still live, in the barracks.

lacks "un-ass," which I first heard from Korean-War vets before I was
"in the war," myself.

I'm doing this commentating on Spears just because I can. So, there''s
no reason to expect anything of use to serious scholars to come out of
this. It's strictly FWIW and "for fee-U-N," to use a bit of slang left
over from my mother's girlhood."

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Sam'l Clemens

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