Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Fri Nov 5 12:07:55 UTC 2010

Obama's use of the gerund "shellacking" sounded so ordinary to me that I was surprised at all the attention the word is receiving!  I have known and used it (in that sense) all my life.

Might it be limited (or have become limited since the 1920s), to Southern and African American dialects?


From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Ben Zimmer [bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU]
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 12:59 AM

Obama's reference to the Democrats' electoral "shellacking" is the
inspiration for my latest Word Routes column:

I've found the "beating" sense going back to 1924, in boxing circles.
Antedatings welcome, as always.


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