[Ads-l] Phrases: continental to the bone, silked to the bone, laid to the natural bone

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 20 11:30:44 UTC 2015

The phrases "laid to the bone" and "continental to the bone" were
mentioned on the list back in September and October 2014. Here are
some links into the archives:


Below are some citations starting in 1971 for continental-to-the-bone,
silked to the bone, dressed to the bone, laid to the bone, and laid to
the natural bone

Periodical: New York Magazine
Article: Tonight at the Blue Angel: Lenny Bruce
Author: Albert Goldman (from the journalism of Lawrence Schiller)
Date: September 6, 1971
Start Page 35; Quote Page: 49
Volume 4; Number 36
Database: Google Books Full view

[Begin excerpt]
Big black men in $250 green silk mohair continental-to-the-bone
hustlers' suits (fresh out of the pawn shop) swathed in high-yaller
polo coats and topped with tiny stingy-brims set lightly atop
patent-leather, permanent-wave hair conks.
[End excerpt]

Year: 1972
Title: A Comparative Study of Urban Black Argot: Final Report
Author: Edith A. Folb
Quote Page: 100 and 101
Publisher: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office
of Education, Regional Research (Also Dissertation: Thesis -
University of California, Los Angeles.)
Database: Google Books Snippet View.
Comment: This document seems to be a government report based on the
Google Books metadata. Worldcat indicates that there exists a
dissertation with the same title and author. So the report may have
been revised to yield a dissertation. I do not know if the page
numbering was altered.

[Begin extracted text from page 100]
The terms, to be decked to death, to be clean, and to be silked to the
bone, all describe, with somewhat different stress and nuance, the act
of being well-dressed.
[End extracted text]

[Begin extracted text from page 101]
What is more interesting about the three terms noted above is the
obvious source of the reference, that is, the well-dressed,
well-groomed, silked to the bone ( 'dressed in silk from your
underwear outward' ) appearance of the pimp.
[End extracted text]

Year: 2009 (Copyright 2001)
Title: Surrender
Author: Brenda Jackson
Publisher: Arabesque Novel by Kimani Press
Quote Page: 35
Database: Google Books ?Preview

[Begin excerpt]
As usual, Netherland noted, the woman was dressed to the bone. Her
melon-colored shoes were the exact shade of her two-piece business
suit. Amazing, Netherland thought, coming into the room. Not everyone
could wear a color that vibrant and get away with it.
[End excerpt]

Year: 2005
Title: Cassell's Dictionary of Slang
Quote Page: 857
Author: Jonathon Green
Database: Google Books Preview

[Begin excerpt]
laid to the bone phr.1 [1960s-70s] (US Black) drunk, [ext. of LAID adj.1]

laid to the bone phr.2 [1970s+] (US Black) 1 well-dressed. 2 of
clothes, cut so well they seem a second skin. [ext. of LAID adj.2 (1)]

laid to the natural bone phr. [1970s+] (US Black) naked. [LAID TO THE
BONE phr.2 + SE natural, unadorned]
[End excerpt]

Date: Copyright 2014 and 2009
Title: A Collection of Poems By C. Milton Kates
Author: C. Milton Kates
Poem: Family Reunion
Quote Page 46
Publisher: iUniverse LLC, Bloomington, Indiana

[Begin excerpt]
Old slick brother Frank trying to outwit us all and getting our goat
Grandpa Joe was looking fit and dressed to the bone, shur nuff
He is still dying his hair and talking stuff
[End excerpt]


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

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