[Ads-l] intestinal/testicular fortitude (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill CIV (US) william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL
Mon May 11 22:07:50 UTC 2015


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OED has "bust a gut" from 1912

23 Sep 1847 Concord NH _New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette_ p 4 col 4
"He had an idee that he was born to do sumthing desperate, so he was continually a drivin after some newfangled kink to make people talk about him, or bust a gut."


31 Jan 1855; Clearfield PA _Raftsman's Journal_ p 2 col 5
"Be cautious, 'Bobby,' dear, or you might bust a gut."

Ben has a 4/4/1974 citation from _Jet_ magazine for "testicular fortitude"; it appears in a syndicated newspaper column on 4/2/1974 in several papers.

Ben's first cite for "intestinal fortitude" is 3/27/1921.  I looked in genealogybank and it appears the cite should be 3/17/1921.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Ben Zimmer
> Sent: Monday, May 11, 2015 4:10 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: intestinal/testicular fortitude
> 
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header ---------------
> --------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      intestinal/testicular fortitude
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> 
> I have a post on the Lexicon Valley blog today about "testicular
> fortitude" (now in the news because Bill Simmons used it just before
> getting fired by ESPN):
> 
> http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2015/05/11/bill_simmons_testi
> cular_fortitude_the_etymology_of_a_phrase_and_the_sensibilities.html
> 
> I start with "intestinal fortitude" as a euphemism for "guts"
> (credited to Ohio State football coach John Wilce, in print from 1921),
> which was malapropized as "testicle fortitude" by Dizzy Dean, before
> emerging as "testicular fortitude" (in print from 1971).
> 
> We discussed both kinds of fortitude about ten years ago on the list.
> 
> --bgz
> 
> --
> Ben Zimmer
> http://benzimmer.com/
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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