"the Big [initial]"

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Sep 1 12:26:25 UTC 2011


Not the same, of course, but have y'all been noticing the TV commercials hawking virility boosters for the treatment of "low T" ("T" for 'testosterone')?  I suppose it's easier to admit that one is short on T than short on the male hormone itself.

--Charlie

________________________________________
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Laurence Horn [laurence.horn at YALE.EDU]
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 7:59 PM


On Aug 31, 2011, at 7:27 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> HDAS includes a number of these (e.g., "the Big D" - 'Dallas').
>
And it sports three entries for The Big O, including one for Opium as well as the one you were thinking of.  Not to be confused with "The Big --Oh", as in the Big 6-Oh (for the birthday of that number), which is also listed in HDAS and which strikes me as becoming more frequently used (or maybe it's just used more frequently as a euphemism for people whose ages are tracking mineā€¦)

LH

> Here's an antedating:
>
> 1917 _The Marines Magazine_  (Dec.) 20-21: U.S.S. "Utah." ...Brothers Mace
> and Jordan...were presented with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers apiece just
> prior to the BIG "U's" departure for sea.
>
> JL
>

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