sources and flying fuck

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Apr 18 20:45:54 UTC 2008

Now that Ron has opened the door to the 18th C., it would be amiss to overlook the following graffito, found scratched into a window at Harrison's tavern in Bath before ca1732:

  I kiss’d her standing,
  Kiss’d her lying,
  Kiss’d her in Health,
  And kiss’d her dying;
  And when she mounts the Skies,
  I’ll kiss her flying.

  Don't thank me, thank "Hurlo Thrumbo," editor of _The Merry-Thought_ in 4 parts (1731-?).

  Cf. a similar bawdy stanza of "The Old Chisholm Trail" that goes "I fucked her standing and I fucked her lying,/ If she'd had wings I'd have fucked her flying."

  This cannot be dated definitively before the 1920s - but I ask rhetorically, "So what?"

It clearly had an antecedent on the window of Harrison's.


RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: RonButters at AOL.COM
Subject: sources and flying fuck

It is worth reemphasizing that the OED *is* online, though if one does not=20
have an institutional affiliation, it is very expensive. And of=20
course--unfortunately--RDAS is not online (nor complete). A "newbie" cannot=20=
be expected to=20
necessarily have home access to either of these fine tools. (I own what volu=
of RDAS have been published, but they don't travel very well, and I move aro=
a lot).

A look at Google Books gives some useful information, though none as good as=
the OED's. The best is probably Wentworth and Flexner, which shows the 1940s=
as the earliest use (not too far off from the OED's 1938). Casell's recent=20
Dictionary of Slang has 1950s. An interesting note is found in a recent book=
called A Lover's Tongue: A Merry Romp Through Love and Sex, which finds "fly=
fuck" in an 18th century poem; that use, though, is is not in the modern sen=
se of=20
"ridiculously impossible undertaking--hence something worthless," but more i=
the sense of The Mile High Club (but, it being the 18th century, the=20
copulators were apparently on horseback), which the authors mistakenly take=20=
to be the=20
20th century meaning.

In a message dated 4/18/08 12:47:11 PM, wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM writes:

> But Jesse's larger point is important, esp. for whippersnapper newbies who=
> may be dazzled, in some cases, by time-saving=A0 high tech.=A0 Online reso=
> are not yet a substitute for looking things up in print. This is especiall=
> true for books and magazines written after the current magic cutoff date f=
> copyright of 1923.
> =A0 JL

Need a new ride? Check out the largest site for U.S. used car=20
listings at AOL Autos.

The American Dialect Society -

Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.  Try it now.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list