[Ads-l] "bring pee" vs. "bring P," etc.

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 23 03:59:38 UTC 2015

Jon has noted my spelling, "bring P," as opposed to "bring pee," the usual,
if not the only, spelling used in literature. I should have given my

I *heard* the expression several years before I ever saw it in print.
Furthermore, it had a different meaning.

In Baumholder, Germany, in 1961, I met a fellow black GI *and* fellow St.
Louisan - making him *literally* "one of those good folks that come from
home," a true home-boy - named "Charles Ray." Inasmuch as that name is "Ray
Charles" reversed, it's memorable.

Naturally, our conversation centered on the usual topic: sex. He said,
among other things,

"My dick was so hard that I didn't have enough skin left to close my eyes!
I was steady bringing [pi]!"

Hearing it in that context caused me to internalize [pi] as "P" for "pussy."

Charles used "bring P" on numerous "of" occasions, always in a sexual
context, and "bring P on" never, in any context.

So, when, a few years later, I saw "bring pee on" in Vietnam War memoirs
and novels by *white* former GI's, I took it to be some weird, "fade"
extension of the "fuck" sense into the sense of "fuck over." Hence, Jon's
suggestion that the expression possibly had its origin in the image of a
stream of bullets pouring down like a stream of urine onto the enemy at
first struck me as a brilliantly explanatory and revelatory flash of
insight! Then, I realized that it was probably obvious, if you hadn't
already made up your mind a half-century ago, as to the semantic origin of
the term.

Now, I think that any resemblance between the St. Louis "bring P" and the
Vietnam "bring pee (on)" is purely coincidental.

The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English
Eric Partridge, ‎Tom Dalzell, ‎Terry Victor - 2006 - ‎Preview - ‎More
117, 2001 ▻ _bring pee_ to frighten someone severely us Vietnam war use

Secret Music: A Book - Page 12
Odie Hawkins - 1988 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
[Black American speaking] "The South African police, brothermen," he
continued more slowly, in a heavier tone, "the South African police could
_bring pee_ to a chump's eyes, if they caught you gettin' down wrong,
missin' a step, or doin' any such shit as they could misconstrue as being
against their regime.

Cassell's Dictionary of Slang - Page 483
Jonathon Green - 2005 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
fade n.2 (US Black) 1 [20C+] a derog. term for a White person.

Cassell's Dictionary of Slang - Page 1255
Jonathon Green - 2005 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
shade n.2 1 [mid-19C-1960s] (US) a derog. term for a Black person

Do others experience either of these terms as "derog."?

I've known and used them both since ca. 1949-50 without the least clue that
either of them was meant to be derogatory in any sense of the word.

Though "shade" is older, I learned "fade" first and assumed that "shade"
was completely obvious as the natural, derived opposite of "fade." ("Fades
and shades." Yep, it's totally straightforward.) Of course, that could be
true, the "dating" of slang being necessarily fortuitous.

Given that, if you read a sufficient amount of Vietnam War stuff, you'll
discover that white GI's/marines used "soul man" as a derog. term for a
black GI/marine, I'm not really surprised to see that "shade" was used by
whites the same way, at one time, if not still.

In general, though, amongst us colored of the pre-Black Power era, once
you've stated that a person is "white," no further derogation - or
arrogation - is necessary or even possible. Topping from the bottom may be
possible among practitioners of sado-masochism, but not in other aspects of
American life.
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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