up the yin-yang

Hunter, Lynne R CIV SPAWARSYSCEN-PACIFIC, 71700 lynne.hunter at NAVY.MIL
Mon Sep 26 13:39:42 UTC 2011

I recall my father using "up the ying-yang" ("ying-yang" intended as
"kazoo" or "wazoo") _at least_ as early as the 1960s; he was a
self-educated, working-class white guy. ("Yin-yang" must have been for
the _college-educated_ white guys.)

Lynne Hunter

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Wilson Gray
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2011 1:19
Subject: Re: up the yin-yang

---------------------- Information from the mail header

Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: up the yin-yang

On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 2:13 AM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at ix.netcom.com>
> 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,


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.

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

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

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