Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 11 18:41:15 UTC 2014

The three Fs I was looking for were fierce, fearless, ferocious. The
beast on the field can't be stopped by the opposition.

Here's the odd thing with nicknames. The way I've seen it in recent
years, the nick The Beast is a positive indicating strength, speed, what
have you. But the nick The Animal, is more like the namesake
muppet--crazy, out of control, but otherwise with similar
characteristics. Another one you may hear from sports commentators is
"monster" or "an absolute monster". I've already heard both "absolute
beast" and "absolute monster" from Olympic announces, but both "on the
slopes" or "on the hill", not in team sports context (like hockey, where
that would be bad, except for goallies). "Beast" and "monster" seem to
be pretty much interchangeable (except Monster Trucks), but not "animal".

The reference to the computer, might not have been from trucks. Sales
clerks have long been referring to high-power power amps or other
attributes of stereo components as being beastly (think Judge Reinhold
in Fast Times At Ridgemont High). Thanks to the big-box stores, it's the
same culture, some transitioning from stereo to computers (and knowing
just as much about either). So this might have been carried over. The
difference is the "power" is now expressed as computational speed, which
is quite an odd metaphor in itself that may require unpacking some day.


On 2/11/2014 9:15 AM, Charles C Doyle wrote:
> The great E. J. Holub, who played football at Texas Tech at the end of the 1950s and subsequently in the pros, was widely known by the honorific epithet "The Beast."
> --Charlie

On 2/11/2014 9:25 AM, Jim Parish wrote:
> It may be worth mentioning that the last time I bought a computer (Jan.
> 2011), the salesman recommended one model as being "a real beast". It's
> spread beyond vehicles, I guess.
> Jim Parish
> On 2/11/2014 7:17 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>> Both Urban Dictionary and Online Slang Dictionary recognize "beast" in
>> various senses amounting to "one who is exceptionally skillful or capable"
>> going back to the '90s.
>> The adj seems to go back about a decade.
>> HDAS provides the well-known nominal sense "a large, powerful vehicle."
>> Off on a tangent is the sense "girlfriend."
>> BTW, the tone of the remark on CNN suggested that "a great leader" was an
>> elaboration, not a definition, of "beast," and that "beast" was meant in a
>> generally admiring way.
>> Unlike sports announcers, she didn't say, "He's a BEAST on the field!" Just
>> that he's a "beast" on the field.
>> JL

The American Dialect Society -

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