"Biting the big one"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Oct 9 00:17:57 UTC 2008

At 7:42 PM -0400 10/8/08, Wilson Gray wrote:
>"Bit the green shiboda": interesting!

Not related to the Shinola some people are reputed to be unable to
tell shit from, presumably...


>Unfortunately, I can't say for
>certain, anymore, whether I ever heard, "bit(e) the green wienie." Did
>I ever hear it? Or does it merely seem that I heard it, because
>Waits's phrase is so close to it?
>No, I can't recall any catchphrase referencing "the green wienie,"
>only the phrase itself. That bites the big one, to coin a phrase.
>On Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 6:45 PM, Bill Le May <blemay0 at mchsi.com> wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       Bill Le May <blemay0 at MCHSI.COM>
>>  Subject:      Re: "Biting the big one"
>>  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 [Opera House] 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
>>  scene.
>>  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:
>>  http://www.tomwaitslibrary.com/interviews/76-jun17-downbeat.html
>>  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
>>  Yeah
>>  Yeah
>>  He bit the big one
>>  Yeah
>>  Well, he's got his own little piece of heaven now
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
>come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>-Mark Twain
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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