[Ads-l] Quip: If Cobden were alive ... now he would turn in his grave (1879)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Thu May 7 08:35:36 UTC 2015


Somewhat related:
"...it would have disturbed him in his grave, to think Glenvarloch should get that land back again," said Sir Mungo"
Walter Scott, The Fortunes of Nigel (1822) p. 335.
http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt/search?q1=%22it%20would%20have%20disturbed%20him%20in%20his%20grave%22;id=uiuo.ark%3A%2F13960%2Ft86h56406;view=1up;seq=9;start=1;sz=10;page=search;orient=0

Stephen Goranson
http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/
________________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, May 6, 2015 6:58 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: [ADS-L] Quip: If Cobden were alive ... now he would turn in his grave (1879)

Way back in May 2011 JL initiated a short discussion of phrases like
"spinning in the grave" and "turn in the grave".


The OED includes some citations for phrases that contain the noun "grave"
including "to make a person turn in his grave"

.

[Begin excerpt]

grave, noun

1. d. In various fig. and proverbial expressions. into the grave of hell:
into the lowest depth. secret as the grave: kept as a close secret. to make
a person turn in his grave: said fancifully or hyperbolically of the effect
of something which was abhorrent to the person in his lifetime. . .

[End excerpt]


The OED listed citations that began with the year 1585, and the first
containing "turn in his grave" was the following.


[Begin excerpt]

1888    J. Bryce Amer. Commonw. I. xii. 159   Jefferson might turn in his
grave if he knew of such an attempt to introduce European distinctions of
rank into his democracy.

[End excerpt]



I came across a citation a few years before 1888 while researching a
comical version of the expression.



[ref] 1879, The Honourable Ella: A Tale of Foxshire by The Earl of Desart
(William Ulick O'Connor Cuffe, 4th Earl of Desart), Volume 1 of 3, Quote
Page 173, Hurst and Blackett, London. (Google Books Full View) link [/ref]



http://books.google.com/books?id=XOcBAAAAQAAJ&q=%22turn+in%22#v=snippet&


[Begin excerpt]

"My dear Harry, you don't understand the rudiments of political economy. If
Cobden were alive to hear all the twaddle of the free-traders now he would
turn in his grave--at least, I mean he'd be confoundedly disgusted.

[End excerpt]


Below is a link to the website entry about expressions attributed to Samuel
Goldwyn and Yogi Berra.


If George Washington Were Alive Today He'd Turn Over in His Grave

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2015/05/02/turn-over/


Garson

On Sat, May 14, 2011 at 8:51 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Quip: If your husband were alive, your conduct would
> make him
>               turn in his grave (1898)
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> To my mind, there's just something a little bit off metaphysically in the
> whole thing.
>
> JL
>
> On Sat, May 14, 2011 at 8:33 PM, Garson O'Toole
> <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>wrote:
>
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: Quip: If your husband were alive, your conduct would
> make
> > him
> >              turn in his grave (1898)
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >  Jonathan Lighter
> > > But why "turn"?
> > >
> > > I could understand "groan" or even "shudder," but why "turn"?  Just to
> be
> > > face down?
> > >
> > > "Spin," of course, is simply inflationary semantics.
> >
> > Perhaps the word "turn" is used because it connotes uneasy slumber,
> > i.e., tossing and turning during sleep. Death and sleep are often
> > metaphorically connected. Current developments would reach the dead as
> > dreamlike visions and cause distress leading to agitation in an
> > extended implicit metaphor.
> >
> > GO'T
> >  >> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > >> -----------------------
> > >> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > >> Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> > >> Subject:      Quip: If your husband were alive, your conduct would
> make
> > h=
> > > im
> > >>              turn in his grave (1898)
> > >>
> > >>
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> > > ------
> > >>
> > >> Jonathan Lighter wrote
> > >> > I just posted a message that featured the comment, "The Founders are
> > >> > spinning."
> > >> >
> > >> > OED doesn't have it. OK, but neither does it have to "spin in one's
> > >> grave."
> > >> > Yet the cliche', to "turn over in one's grave" seems just as absent.
> > >> >
> > >> > I'm guessing I noticed "turn over..." by 1970; "spin..." ten or
> > fifteen
> > >> > years later; plain "spinning" only in the 21st Century.
> > >>
> > >> The "turn over in grave" figure of speech occurred before 1900 because
> > >> it was the subject of a gag in 1898. (Also see OED cite further
> > >> below.) I discovered this indirectly while tracing the following
> > >> Goldwynism
> > >>
> > >> If Roosevelt were alive he'd turn in his grave.
> > >>
> > >> The Penguin Dictionary of Modern Quotations 2nd Edition has this
> > >> quotation and attributes the words to Samuel Goldwyn. Shakespeare,
> > >> Tchaikovsky, Jules Verne and other figures have been resurrected and
> > >> set spinning in variants of this quip which has been attributed to
> > >> multiple individuals. Here is the joke in 1898:
> > >>
> > >> Cite: 1897-8, The Leisure Hour, Irish Wit and Humor As Shown in
> > >> Proverbs and Bulls by Elsa D'Esterre-Keeling, Page 709, Column 2,
> > >> Paternoster Row, London. (HathiTrust)
> > >>
> > >> It was an Irish moralist who rebuked a widow in the words, "If your
> > >> husband were alive, your conduct would make him turn in his grave";
> =85
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> The OED groups together several figurative and proverbial expressions
> > >> under 1.d. for the noun grave. Here is the first using the word turn.
> > >>
> > >> 1888 J. Bryce Amer. Commonw. I. xii. 159   Jefferson might turn in his
> > >> grave if he knew of such an attempt to introduce European distinctions
> > >> of rank into his democracy.
> > >>
> > >> Garson
> > >>
> > >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> > >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --=20
> > > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> > truth."
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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