Bad Girls Ride Again

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 7 19:51:18 UTC 2010

On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 9:24 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:

> This week's crop of the new and the hard-to-Google. And did I mention that
> several of the Girls are Faustian illeists?::
> "That is SO random f*****g bulls**t!" Â  [It's senseless; "so" is an
> odd substitute for "such"; syntactical blending?]
> "I'd never throw her under the bus! I'd never do her shame!" [Betray her.]

Sounds like something that I should be familiar with. But I'm not. :-(

> "T the f**k O! How ridiculous is THAT?!" Â [Stop this silliness!; accompanied
> by time-out gesture.]
> "I'm the only BAD girl in this mother!" [Place.]
I agree that Place is the meaning of _mother[fucker]_ in this
instance. But, in fact, its meaning varies according to context, to
the extent that _mother[fucker] _ can replace, for all practical
purposes, any NP whatsoever. Indeed, as such words go, it's a bad

The clip, "mother," isn't its only cover (I understand that I may be
demonstrating a misprehapprehension* of both _clip_ and _cover_ in a
single syntactic moment, but "y'all gnawm san*, chirrin," to
paraphrase Wilson Pickett). Another cover, very old - I heard it first
from the mouths of my mother's male schoolmates, so I figure we must
be talking, like, Roaring 'Twenties, when Mom would've been in high
school - is ['mAm@ ,dZAm@], usually, IME, written as "mamma-jammer."

*From listening to rappers who come from StL, I've discovered that, in
The Lou, it's not "gnome sane," but "gnawm san." What Wilson P.
actually said was, "Y'all know 'im, chirrin." _Misprehapprehension_
predates Dubya. It was a catchword used by some character on an old
radio sitcom, back in the '40's. I sorta-kinda-maybe recall the
character's name as Lochinvar Pulaski, but that "memory" is not
supported by either W:pedia or Google. In any case, the character was
such a damned fool that it killed both "Lochinvar" and "Pulaski" as
names that anyone, IMO, would willingly bear. Too bad, since, after it
was too late, I discovered that Lochinvar was the namesake and hero of
a poem by Scott.

> "I'm really butt-hurt that somebody in the house would touch something of
> mine." Â [Emotionally hurt.]
> "Legalize Gay" Â [On T-shirt,]
> One young lady, from the Boston area, is a master of the creaky voice. In
> fact, she sounds more like a creaky-voiced "Long-Island lockjaw" stereotype
> than anyone I've ever heard. Her family is very wealthy. Â My impression is
> that the creakiness is largely an affectation to express utter disdain.
> When she's emotional about something it diminishes, though it does not, I
> believe, Â disappear completely. Â The creakiness comes mainly toward the end
> of sentences. More research is needed. But not done by me.

Does anyone else recall Jim Backus's character, Hubert Updike, III,
from radio's old Alan Young Show? "Updike" was a rich, egotistical ("I
wish that I had two heads, so that I could kiss myself on the back of
the neck") snob of a playboy who spoke with a peculiar accent. The
only time that I've heard a similar-sounding accent in the wild was at
a party in Cambridge. It was used by the
about-to-be-dumped-for-one-of-his-students wife of an
internationally-famous-in-the-field-of-Indo-European-linguistics prof
at Harvard. I immediately leaped to the conclusion that Hubert III
speech patterns parodied those of Boston's old-money brahmins. Except
that I have no particular evidence to support a claim that the
now-ex-wife was a scion of a Boston-brahmin family speaking the old
brahmin dialect, except for the fact that she sounded like a female
Hubert Updike and was at a party in Cambridge. Indeed, I have no
reason to think that HU3 was even supposed to be a Bostonian - well,
his initials *are* _H[arvard]U[niversity]_ - except for the fact that
a woman with whom I once chatted at a party in Cambridge sounded like

Circular (lack of) reasoning.

I really gotta start watching that show.

> Another designer T-shirt reads, "Don't Hate Me 'Cause You Can't Be Me."
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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