"send s.o. over"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Apr 20 00:25:58 UTC 2008

On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 8:01 PM, Benjamin Zimmer
<bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> > At 4/19/2008 05:40 PM, Geoffrey Nunberg wrote:
>  > >"Yes, angel, I'm gonna send you over," Humphrey Bogart says to Mary
>  > >Astor in The Maltese Falcon. In context, it's clear that what he
>  > >means is "turn you in to the police,"
> From John Huston's screenplay:
>  -----
>  http://www.filmsite.org/malt4.html
>  Yes, angel, I'm gonna send you over. The chances are you'll get off
>  with life. That means if you're a good girl, you'll be out in 20
>  years. I'll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I'll always remember
>  you.
>  -----
>  That's taken almost verbatim from the Hammett novel:
>  -----
>  http://www.amazon.com/gp/sitbv3/reader?asin=0752865331
>  He said: "I'm going to send you over. The chances are you'll get off
>  with life. That means you'll be out again in twenty years. You're an
>  angel. I'll wait for you." He cleared his throat. "If they hang you,
>  I'll always remember you."
>  -----

Hammett was apparently a fan of the expression. A bit later on in the
novel, Sam tells Brigid:

"Well, if I send you over I'll be sorry as hell—I'll have some rotten
nights— but that'll pass."

And here's a passage from "The Big Knockover" (first published in
1927, two years before "The Maltese Falcon"):

Paddy -- an amiable con man who looked like the King of Spain --
showed me his big white teeth in a smile,  pushed a chair out for me
with one foot, and told the girl who shared his table: "Nellie, meet
the biggest-hearted dick in San Francisco.  This little fat guy will
do anything for anybody, if only he can send 'em over for life in the

--Ben Zimmer

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list