Quote: What fresh hell can this be? (antedating Dorothy Parker - probably 1970)

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 20 11:31:40 UTC 2010

Garson O'Toole wrote
> The challenge is to antedate the 1988 date for the following Dorothy
> Parker quotation: What fresh hell is this?

In a previous message I gave a 1970 citation for the variant "What
fresh hell can this be?" This cite has now been verified on paper.

Cite: 1970, You Might as Well Live: The Life and Times of Dorothy
Parker by John Keats, Page 124, Simon and Schuster, New York. (Google
Books snippet view; Verified on paper)

"When it came time to leave the apartment to
get a taxi, you could see this look of resolution come on her
face," he said. "Her chin would go up and her shoulders would
go back; she would almost be fighting back fear and tears, as
if to say to the world, 'Do your worst; I'll make it home all right.'
If the doorbell rang in her apartment, she would say, 'What
fresh hell can this be?'-and it wasn't funny; she meant it.


Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> One thing about hell though - it never gets stale.

But someone, maybe Kipling, once wrote: "It led them into a stale hell
which had once been soil of France but was now beyond grace, hope or

i.e., similar to undergraduate housing.


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list