"man or beast"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 30 22:20:30 UTC 2013

On Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 7:58 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>wrote:

> As documented in HDAS, though only from several years later.

I didn't bother to check HDAS - though you'd think that I'd know to do that
reflexively, by this time - because my experience was that this use of
"beast" - *only* in the meaning, "girlfriend" - was common only to a small
group of people that I was associated with, back in the summer of 1957.
IMO, it was too boojie to have legs, since the best slang moves from up the
bottom, originating with the kids that our parents didn't want us
associating with.. OTOH, if it shows up in print, then it's pretty much
boojie by definition, because wouldn't nobody wasn't boojie be writing no

Minor gotcha: HDAS has _beast_  as "girlfriend" from 1946, in fact. as well
as on 1957, from 1957 in Herb Simmons's Corner Boy.

Name-drop: Herb is a St. Louisan and a frat-brother of mine. He was the
guest-of-honor at the post-initiation celebratory dinner.


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

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

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