up the yin-yang

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Sep 26 08:27:33 UTC 2011

On Sep 26, 2011, at 1:19 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 2:13 AM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>> 1976
> And it was already in use sixteen years earlier, when I first heard
> it. My impression is that I first heard it in 1960 not because it was
> new, but because I hadn't had sufficient social interaction with
> college-grade white guys before that year. I don't think that the
> phrase ever gained any traction among blacks. But, of course,
> Youneverknow.
> I recall "up the ying-yang" as the catchphrase of a former
> barracksmate who retired a few years ago from the U of Chi as Deputy
> Dean of Students and Dean of Services.
> That was Ed Turkington, all 6'8" of him, if there are any U of Chi
> readers wondering who I mean.

Thank you for this follow-up. Although both variants sound fine to me, "yin-yang" is, I think, the one I use and I didn't do a search for "up the ying-yang."

Google Books has 1968.

"A sense of dark," by William Malliol, Atheneum, page 47, http://ow.ly/6ECoj

Quillan said, "Boy, hava-yes-sheba-sheba last night up the ying-yang!"

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list