Shout outs and hard ons

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Wed May 20 22:21:43 UTC 2009

On May 20, 2009, at 11:15 AM, Lary Horn wrote:

> At 2:02 PM -0400 5/20/09, Herb Stahlke wrote:
>> I remember learning the term "hard on" in boarding school at about
>> the
>> age of 13, and from the way it was used by my fellow denizens of an
>> adolescent boys' dormitory it seemed unanalyzable.
> Agreed.  For me, "hards-on" would have been as unlikely a plural as
> "Horn and Hards-art" for more than one Automat.

agreed and agreed.  my experience too.  but this isn't relevant to the
question of how the noun "hard on" originated.

and, of course, the fact that tons of people *don't* analyze some
expression as having parts doesn't mean that that some people couldn't
see it as an exemplar of an analyzable pattern (whatever the history).


The American Dialect Society -

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