[Ads-l] _hit in the face with the ugly stick_

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 20 09:05:26 EDT 2016


I first heard this in 1982-83 from a fellow grad student (female), who was
from Alabama.

The form was "like he's been beat with the ugly stick."

JL

On Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 3:00 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 9:09 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>
> > Green's Dictionary of Slang has:
> >
> > _beat with an ugly stick_ (v.) (also _hit over the head with an/the ugly
> > stick_, _slap..._, _whip...)
> > 1. (Aus./US) to cause to be unattractive; often as a supposed reason for
> > one's lack of good looks, e.g. _he was beat with an ugly stick_.
> > 1985 [Aus] B. Humphries _Traveller's Tool_ 20: You'd swear they'd all
> been
> > hit over the head with the ugly stick.
> > 1989 [US] P. Munro _Sl. U._ 28: be beat with an ugly stick / be slapped
> > with an ugly stick / be whipped with an ugly stick to be ugly (often used
> > as a reason for why someone should be ugly).
> > 1996 [US] (con. 1940s) Deuce Ofay Productions The Jive Bible at
> > JiveOn.com [Internet] Angela, what you doin', Rick? He 'bout as low as
> > you can go wit' out somebody takin' the ugly stick to yo' head!
> > 2010 [UK] K. Richards _Life_ 134 Your old lady's so ugly, I had to chase
> > her away with an ugly stick.
> >
>
> It could be, as is so often the case, the version that I know is peculiar
> to St. Louis. The above versions are all new to me, both literally and
> figuratively, _hit in the face with the ugly stick_ going back to at least
> 1945, IME, and is non-occurrent in any other form. I.e. the phrase is a
> descriptor only of a person's face. Of course, usage is continually in
> flux. So, if I went back to The Lou and hung out, who knows what version of
> the phrase I might hear, over 65 years since I last lived there?
>
> Youneverknow.
>
> " _hit over the head with an/the ugly stick_, _slap..._, _whip..."? _Beat_
> with _an_ ugly stick"? "_Chase away_ with _an_ ugly stick"? How quaint! in
> fact, IMO, that's messed up.
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> 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
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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