I'm gonna wear you out!

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Tue Jun 23 03:44:54 UTC 2009

Could someone with access to volume IV of DARE do me a favor and look up the
idiom 'to wear s.o. out' meaning to spank, switch, hit with a belt or
slipper, etc.? (The library here is missing its copy.) I'd like to find out
where it's used and how long it's been around. A thread on the
WordReference.com forum
(http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=366049) has it as
southeastern US English, which is consistent with attestations in literature
and my own experience. A couple of attestations from the Alabama-set _To
Kill a Mockingbird_ (1960). A reference the librarian here found (I can't
find where I wrote it down right now, but I think it's something like Facts
on File dictionary of regional English) had the earliest attestation in _Men
Working_, a 1941 novel set in Mississippi by John Faulkner. And I first
heard the expression from my dad, who grew up in Georgia.


Neal Whitman
Email: nwhitman at ameritech.net
Blog: http://literalminded.wordpress.com

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

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