[Ads-l] heard (?) but not seen

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 13 23:18:18 UTC 2015


New to me, though in *theory* it could have existed since WW1, when clock
positions were used to identify shot patterns on U.S. rifle ranges.

But "six" only begins to appear in the 1960s - and figuratively not till
1980.

During WW2 it was customary to use the entire phrase (as in "Twelve O'Clock
High"), and even then - so far as I know - only in aerial combat and usu.
as a warning interjection.

At least according to the HDAS vault.

JL



On Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 4:40 PM, David Barnhart <dbarnhart at highlands.com>
wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       David Barnhart <dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
> Subject:      heard (?) but not seen
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Yesterday I heard (I am quite sure) the term _twelve_ (meaning "forward" or
> "ahead") in conjunction with "watch my six" (meaning "watch my back").  But
> I can't find it in the recent news coverage of the double murder in a
> shooting range.  Any references (current or otherwise) would be gratefully
> received.
>
>
>
> Regards,
>
> David
>
>
>
> barnhart at highlands.com
>
>
>
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>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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-- 
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