Maddened by Mad Men

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Tue Sep 20 20:57:04 UTC 2011

Isn't this just an example of the phrasal verb "to hold down," documented by the OED back to 1891 and by now well established in phrases such as "to hold down a job"?


From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Hunter, Lynne R CIV SPAWARSYSCEN-PACIFIC, 71700 [lynne.hunter at NAVY.MIL]
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 12:46 PM
Subject: Maddened by Mad Men

Recent annoyance from _Mad Men_: "Miss Holloway can hold down the fort."
"Hold _down_ the fort" is irritating enough in the present day (at least
to my particular ear) without its being ascribed to 1962 speakers. (The
phrase conjures up a flighty outpost flimsily moored to some low-gravity

Lynne Hunter

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