"the Big [initial]"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 1 13:07:32 UTC 2011


My take, in addition, has been that the advertisers don't want to scare the
average American male with a word of many syllables; moreover, they don't
want to say such a word more than once.  It's off-putting.


JL

On Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 8:26 AM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "the Big [initial]"
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> 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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