[Ads-l] go for a "Burton"--a 1944 etymology guess (UNCLASSIFIED)

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 15 14:53:28 UTC 2015

On Sat, Aug 15, 2015 at 10:27 AM, Joel Berson <berson at att.net> wrote:

> Any association with "dead man" =3D "empty bottle (of beer)"?
> No obvious association with "Burton", unless Burton was so popular (in the =
> RAF?) that it became the epitome/eponym of beer.

For what it's worth, an item on RAF slang in The Sunday Post
(Lanarkshire, Scotland, 25 July 1943, p. 8, under "Crump Dump") notes
that "Gone for a Burton" is "said of anyone who is missing as a result
of a bomber trip or a fighter combat, and of whom no news is received
in a month."  Further, in parentheses, "Origin has never been traced.
One idea is that Burton stands for Beer -- a play on bier. -- Editor."
 A funeral bier seems a stretch to me, but there you go.

The column was apparently based on "'Service Slang,' collected and
edited by flying Officer J.L. Hunt and A.G. Pringle, R.A., and
published by Faber & Faber at 2/6."

-- Bonnie

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

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