"They was trying to hand me out a flyer."

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Jul 11 17:31:49 UTC 2011

Is "hand me out" really common in England?
 To me, the statement is a very odd splicing of "They was trying to hand out
a flyer" and "They was trying to hand me a flyer".

Should I think of this as an unethical dative?


On Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 12:39 PM, Damien Hall <D.Hall at kent.ac.uk> wrote:

> What does this sentence mean?  By which I mean, in BrE it would be
> perfectly acceptable in a meaning like 'They were trying to hand me a
> handbill advertisement'.  But what was the strangeness that made you post
> it, Wilson?
> - The indirect object pronoun in the midst of a phrasal verb?
> - The use of 'flyer' to mean something it doesn't usually mean
> ('fly-ball'?)
> - The use of 'hand out' to mean 'pitch', if 'flyer' does in fact mean
> 'fly-ball'?
> I'm serious - you wouldn't have posted the sentence if it hadn't been
> somehow strange, but I honestly don't know what strangeness you meant!
> Damien
> --
> Damien Hall
> University of Kent (UK)
> Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, 'Towards a New Linguistic Atlas of France'
> English Language and Linguistics, School of European Culture and Languages
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ.
Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

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

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