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

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 7 11:56:47 UTC 2015


 Stephen Goranson wrote:
>
> Somewhat related:
> "...it would have disturbed him in his grave, to think Glenvarloch should g=
> et that land back again," said Sir Mungo"
> Walter Scott, The Fortunes of Nigel (1822) p. 335.

Excellent precursor from a prominent author! Thanks for searching, Stephen.

> http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt/search?q1=3D%22it%20would%20have%20distu=
> rbed%20him%20in%20his%20grave%22;id=3Duiuo.ark%3A%2F13960%2Ft86h56406;view=
> =3D1up;seq=3D9;start=3D1;sz=3D10;page=3Dsearch;orient=3D0
>
> Stephen Goranson
> http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/
> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGar=
> son 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 gr=
> ave (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=3DXOcBAAAAQAAJ&q=3D%22turn+in%22#v=3Dsnipp=
> et&
>
>
> [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 t=
> o
> > 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=3D
> > > > im
> > > >>              turn in his grave (1898)
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > >
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> =3D
> > > > ------
> > > >>
> > > >> Jonathan Lighter wrote
> > > >> > I just posted a message that featured the comment, "The Founders a=
> re
> > > >> > 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 absen=
> t.
> > > >> >
> > > >> > 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 becau=
> se
> > > >> 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";
> > =3D85
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> The OED groups together several figurative and proverbial expression=
> s
> > > >> 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 h=
> is
> > > >> grave if he knew of such an attempt to introduce European distinctio=
> ns
> > > >> of rank into his democracy.
> > > >>
> > > >> Garson
> > > >>
> > > >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --=3D20
> > > > "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
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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