"Thaaat's what I'm talking about!"

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Fri Oct 28 02:37:17 UTC 2011

Your judgments on the speech I hear and use strike me as bizarre.

Among other things, I don't use the word "girl" in that manner at all.

My grandfather, born in 1899, wouldn't have used the expression at all.

It may be slightly out of date, but please remember I live in a different part of the country and what is current here may be old hat elsewhere. I will admit I do not have a lot of exposure to conversational English on a daily basis, so my experience may be skewed.

In any case, I stand by my comment, slightly out of date or not.


On Oct 27, 2011, at 7:25 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> FWIW, that "Master B.B." should be using this phrase strikes me as
> lamely anachronistic. It wasn't cool in any particular sense, back in
> his/my day. When I chat with my friends and relatives, I don't ask
> them to "holler back" or any such. Back when, "holler at me, holler
> back," etc. was what your mother used in talking with her sissies
> [read: "buddies"; that's sexist language for you;-)]. An adolescent
> male wouldn't been caught dead talking like his mother! At best, I'd
> sound pswaydo-hip, using such language. (Sigh! Now I understand why my
> grandparents, born in the last quarter of the 19th C., went to their
> graves refusing to call a bicycle anything except a "wheel.")
> In like manner, what's Master B.B. doing, talking like his
> grandfather? Unreal! He should say, e,g,,
> "Well, if you feel that way, then you go 'head on, then, girl!"
> Not only would that be the natural response for a colored gentleman of
> his years, but his use of it in a ubiquitous commercial might even
> have served to re-hippenize it.
> Youneverknow.
> --Â -Wilson-----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
> On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 9:13 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>> Subject: Â  Â  Â Re: "Thaaat's what I'm talking about!"
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> On Oct 27, 2011, at 8:47 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
>>> On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 6:32 PM, Jonathan Lighter
>>> <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Hardly the same.
>>>> The "Jaws" ex. means, "(Can't you see) that's what I'm talking about?!"
>>>> B.B. King says "Thaat's what I'm talking about!" in response to the
>>>> guitar-playing and blood-sugar testing of  of Crystal Bowersox. He
>>>> thinks both are great.
>>> In the idiomatic version that we're, uh, talking about, sentence
>>> stress is (I think) typically on the first word: "THAT'S what I'm
>>> talking about." Rather like "THAT'S the ticket" or "THAT'S the stuff."
>>> --bgz
>> Or in reduced form as in "ATTaboy!", I assume < "THAT'S the boy"
>> LH
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