[Ads-l] "Be strung out (behind [NP])" = "be in love (with [NP])"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 28 05:26:43 EST 2017


> The HDAS def. was to be "infatuated (with)." Too narrow?

No, since I probably meant to write,

"be madly in love with"

Second thought also reminds me that "be strung out" has to have the
_behind_. I.e. "be strung out behind NP," which isn't particularly distinct
in Sprachgefühl from "have one's nose open," vs. "be strung out on" a
narcotic. A major distinction, to say the least. In days of yore, both
terms may have had a connection with the narcotics game - the latter
possibly with doing cocaine. But that's not even a reasonable WAG, based on
my life. My personal experience is that there was absolutely no connection
with narco-slang. Nobody that I knew nor any gossip that I heard - other
than that there was a federal prison-hospital for heroin addicts in
Lexington, Kentucky - had anything to do with any "controlled substance."
That "high" and "loaded" were anything other than synonyms of "drunk" was a
total surprise to me, in the Age of Aquarius. It took years for me to
become accustomed to dealing with that "new" meaning. The only time that I
ever got high on weed was _once_, at the '74 LSA Summer School at UMass.
The experience was sufficient to persuade that the claim that marijuana is
a dangerous drug is utter nonsense. Legalize it! Sassafras tea with cream -
a common drink during my Texas childhood - is probably more dangerous.




On Sun, Jun 21, 2015 at 4:42 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "Be strung out (behind [NP])" = "be in love (with [NP])"
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> -------------------
>
> The HDAS def. was to be "infatuated (with)." Too narrow?
>
> JL
>
> On Sun, Jun 21, 2015 at 4:21 AM, 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: "Be strung out (behind [NP])" = "be in love (with
> [NP])"
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> -------------------
> >
> > The best HDAS can do (i.e., "could have done"):
> >
> > 1962 in Bruce Jackson _In the Life_ (1972, rpt. N.Y.: NAL, 1974) 160: I
> was
> > in high school and I got strung out behind some old cottontail, you know.
> >
> > 1965 in Woodie  King, Jr., & Ron Milner, eds. _Black Drama Anthology_
> > (N.Y.: NAL, 1972) 302: Gloria...was pretending we were just visitors who
> > were strung out over her.
> >
> > 1967 _Current Slang_ II 46: Bill is strung out behind Jane.
> >
> > Etc.
> >
> > Wilson should make a list of this stuff from before the early '60s, when
> > non-jazz related AAV slang was first noticed in the "mainstream media."
> >
> > I have very little expectation that a pre-1962 printed antedating will
> turn
> > up.
> >
> > JL
> >
> > On Sun, Jun 21, 2015 at 12:53 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > > -----------------------
> > > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > > Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> > > Subject:      "Be strung out (behind [NP])" = "be in love (with [NP])"
> > >
> > >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> -------------------
> > >
> > > From time to time, I Google a random memory of slang of days of yore to
> > see
> > > whether I can now document it, leaving aside the question of dating.
> > >
> > > "Strung out (behind)" is well known WRT drug use. But, AFAIK -
> > admittedly,
> > > I've only half-assed the research - the use of the phrase with the
> > meaning,
> > > "stone in love (with)" is, at best, less known. It's not in the UD,
> > anyway.
> > >
> > > In back-in-the-day St. Louis, from the '40's on, at least, not only did
> > the
> > > phrase, _be strung out (behind [NP])_ have all of the usual
> > > narcotics-related meanings, but it also had the meaning, "to have one's
> > > nose open (for someone), to be stone in love (with someone)."
> > >
> > >
> > > Damaged Goods: A Novel - Page 23
> > > https://books.google.com/books?isbn=3D0743268873
> > > Roland S[pratlin] Jefferson[, MD] - 2005 (cf. Amazon) -
> =E2=80=8EPreview
> > > But he was
> > >
> > > _strung out behind Trixie_
> > >
> > > the way she was strung out behind cocaine..
> > >
> > >
> > > Of course, full documentation may well already be in the Ghost of HDAS
> > Yet
> > > To Come.
> > >
> > > One cannot know, sadly.
> > >
> > > The author was born in 1939, making him only a few years younger than I
> > am.
> > > So, he, too, may well know the term from ca. the '40's and be striving
> > > gamely to save an interesting turn of phrase from undeserved
> extinction.
> > > --=20
> > > -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
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
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> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > "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
> >
>
>
>
> --
> "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
>



-- 
-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


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