"Biting the big one"

Bill Le May blemay0 at MCHSI.COM
Mon Oct 6 22:45:58 UTC 2008

Interestingly, I've heard both meanings used in context with Frank Zappa.
First, the "sucking" meaning from an interview in DownBeat magazine in which
Tom Waits talks about touring with Frank's band:

Hohman: The first time I saw you perform was back in St. Louis a few years
ago, when you were playing Kiel Auditorium as a solo warm-up act for Zappa
and the Mothers. Not only were you swamped by the sheer immensity of the
hall, with your vocals almost totally inaudible, but the crowd was obviously
a rock-oriented set. They were far from being into a lone guy up there
singing tales of broken down autos and barroom troubles. That was a bad

Waits: Aw, man . the worst. I bit the green shiboda on that tour with Frank.
That wasn't even the worst night, though: if I remember correctly, St. Louis
was a snap. I had some real bitches on that tour.

Entire interview here:

The "dying" meaning was in the lyrics of a track titled "Whatever Happened
to All the Fun in the World?" on Frank Zappa's Sheik Yerbouti album

What ever happened to all the fun in the world?
Larry's not with us any more; he went on y'know
He bit the big one
Well, he's got his own little piece of heaven now

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

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