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

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 16 00:06:31 UTC 2015


There is a subtle difference between "gone for a Burton" and "gone for a
Burton's". A Burton is a kind of beer that travelled well, which was
important in a global empire. It may have the most popular kind of beer in
Britain in the 19th C.

Burton's was a brand that tried and failed to play off Burton. It had gone
bankrupt before WWII ever started.
On Aug 15, 2015 10:53 AM, "Bonnie Taylor-Blake" <b.taylorblake at gmail.com>
wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Bonnie Taylor-Blake <b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: go for a "Burton"--a 1944 etymology guess (UNCLASSIFIED)
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> 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
>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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