plausibility check

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Fri Aug 20 21:43:08 UTC 2010

On Aug 20, 2010, at 11:19 AM, victor steinbok wrote:
> I was wondering how plausible is the dating of the two phrases below.
> ... "[Fuck/Bleep/To hell with/Same to] you and the horse you rode in on..."
> ... "[Is that your nose] or are you eating a banana?"
> ... I am curious about these two because they share a peculiar
> property--they are often used in vernacular without the bracketed
> part.

that would make them nonce truncations, in my terminology:

but it would certainly be nice to have some actual cites for the truncated versions.  the first seems entirely plausible as a taboo avoidance, and i *think* i've heard it as an insult or retort.  the second i find hard to contextualize, and a google search on {"are you eating a banana?" - nose} gives nothing in the intended sense:

there’s at least one occurrence of the portmanteau
  Are You Happy to See Me or Are You Eating a Banana, play by Neil Renken, No Shame Theatre

and then on the Apolyton Civilization Site, a poll:
  What do you want me to do?
    Just post on the web site
    Post nothing but threads!
    Do both!
    Eat a banana

there are also some occurrences of “go eat a banana” as an insult aimed at a black person (treated as a monkey)

finally, “eat a banana” should be available for ‘suck cock’ (literally or as part of a generalized insult), though I don’t have good exx.


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