"Your ass is grass ...

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu May 29 00:43:42 UTC 2008

On Wed, May 28, 2008 at 8:06 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> "... and I'm the lawnmower."
> This was discussed here a while ago, but, as far as I can tell from
> cursorily checking the archives, no dating was supplied.
> IAC, these words were spoken by the late, great Murray "Sgt. Clyde"
> Hamilton to the late, great Tab "Rct. Andy Sheaffer" Hunter in the
> 1956 movie, _The Girl He Left Behind._.
> I don't know whether this line was made up for the movie by Guy
> Troper, the screenwriter. If not, it's probably older than 1956

According to reviews in _Time_, the line in both the novel and the film is:

"If you screw up around here, your behinds will be grass and I will be
the lawnmower."


Of course, the euphemization spoils the rhyme, so what's the point? :->

--Ben Zimmer

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list