[Ads-l] "You [X] 'em, we [X-rhyme] 'em"

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Sun Jun 4 09:36:03 EDT 2017

During the Vietnam War, ca. 1967, there was an American field hospital

with the (handwritten?) sign in front: "You find 'em, we bind 'em."

G. Cohen


Original message from Jonathan Lighter, June 4, 2017:
Back around 1980-81, I had a university acquaintance who would frequently
answer with a selection from among these sayings:

"City Morgue: You kill 'em, we chill 'em!"

"City Morgue: You stab' em, we slab 'em!"

"Abortion Clinic: You rape 'em, we scrape 'em. No fetus can beat us."

Now I read in Hugh Gusterson's informative _Drone_ (Cambridge: MIT Press,
2016), p. 9, that,

"'You Track 'Em, We Whack 'Em,' is the informal motto of the team at the
National Security Agency that collects and analyzes ... cell phone data
[that may serve to identify the whereabouts of prominent terrorists]."

Googling "You kill 'em, we chill 'em" turns up approx. one zillion
instances of this pattern.

How far back can this black-humor genre be traced?


"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


American Dialect Society<http://www.americandialect.org/>
Devoted to the study of English around the world.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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