Thank you ma'am; Kiss me (bump or dip in road)

David A. Daniel dad at POKERWIZ.COM
Thu Jul 14 03:17:26 UTC 2011

My parents, both of them born and raised in Indianapolis, taught me padiddle
when I was a kid in the 50's in California. Guy says it first, he gets to
kiss the girl. Girl says it first, she has her choice of punching, kissing,
or whatever else she may want to do. My version of bread and butter, also
learned from my Hoosier parents, is: a) Bread and Butter, b) split in two,
a) a piece for me, b) a piece for you. This of course means that speaker a)
ends up with both pieces. I only picked up Jinx from my daughter about 10
ago. Her version, learned from English-speaking friends in Rio de Janeiro:
jinxed person cannot speak until someone says the jinxed person's name.
Padiddle story: when I lived in England in the 80's, I was driving along, at
night, with a Brit colleague as passenger, and I mentioned: "You know, in
the US we have a game, called padiddle." And I explained the deal about
seeing a car with one headlight. And then continued: "I mention this because
here I never see a car with one headlight." Brit said: "Well, yes. It's an
offence." His attitude was that "Of course, if it is an offence, it doesn't
happen." Pretty funny.

: Re: Thank you ma'am; Kiss me (bump or dip in road)


The "kiss from any handy female" bit reminds me of "padiddle" (which I
understand is sometimes transcribed "perdiddle", a natural variation since
it seems to be a Northeast (NY, NJ) tradition.  If a male and female are
driving down a road at night and the former spots a car with just one
headlight on he calls "padiddle" and gets to kiss the latter.  If the latter
identifies the padiddle first, she gets to slap him--or, on another variant
I recall hearing although I never experienced it myself, she gets to either
slap or kiss him, as she chooses.  My memory of padiddles goes back to the
early 60s in the NYC and Rochester areas.  It didn't turn into
slam-bam-thankyou-ma'ams, it just kind of faded away, even though padiddles
(the cars, not the tradition) can still be seen.

Just checking the web, I find this account from Grant, not dissimilar to
what I recall:


On Jul 13, 2011, at 8:03 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:

> Jonathan Lighter wrote
>> The HDAS files have several exx. in addition to that from 1890.  The
>> documentation of "wham-bam, thank you ma'am" as a sexual allusion,
>> does not begin until the WWII era.
>> My understanding (from God knows where) is that the early custom (ca1890)
>> was that when a wagon hit a bump in the road, any male involved could
>> a kiss from any handy female. Hence the "Thank you ma'am!"
>> But it culd be BS.
> This message continues a discussion of "wham-bam-thank-you ma'am!" by
> focusing on the phrases "thank you ma'am" and 'kiss me." First, thanks
> to Wilson Gray, George Thompson, Dan Goncharoff, Jonathan Lighter,
> Robin Hamilton, and Victor Steinbok for comments on the thread called
> "Phrase: the old, slam-bang, thank-you-ma'ams (automobile tires circa
> 1925 probably)"
> The OED (2nd edition) has an entry for "thank-you-ma'am" that includes

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