anachronism on "Mad Men"?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 26 13:46:49 UTC 2008

Back in November of 1961 in the old West Berlin, black GI's used "[It]
ain't no *big* thang!" with "big" emphasized for no other reason that
was the way that the phrase was spoken. This was eventually reduced to
 "No biggie!" at some later date, probably after I had been released
from active duty.

I'm mentioning the above just for the hell of it, since I agree with
Larry and I'm not hardly trying to contradict Doug, who's also not
contradicting Larry.

FWIW, IMO, "no big thang" is merely a behipment of "no big deal."


On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 12:09 AM, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
> Subject:      Re: anachronism on "Mad Men"?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Laurence Horn wrote:
>> This well-received AMC series about the advertising business is set
>> in the early 1960s, which is the primary point--it's big on
>> verisimilitude and does a nice job in general.  The episode before
>> last (which I just watched on tape) contained the phrase "no biggie".
>> As far as I can tell (with the help of HDAS), "no biggie" doesn't
>> date back before 1978 or so.  It seemed wrong to me when I heard it,
>> so I suspect it really was a lapse on the writers' part.
> Seems wrong to me too.
> N'archive has a few instances of "no biggie" from 1974 and 1975.
> In the 1960's, I think maybe "no big deal" would have been _de rigueur_.
> -- Doug Wilson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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