[Ads-l] "_pop_ my dick-string"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 13 18:03:36 EDT 2017

On Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 2:31 AM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:

> isn’t a plausible reading "get a sudden erection"?

Perhaps, if you’ve never heard the term used in the wild or seen it used in
literature. But, in fact, no, because popping one’s dick-string was
something that happened _during_ copulation, not before or after, and the
term, _dick-string_ occurred *only* in that fixed phrase, nowhere else and
that phrase was used *only* to describe an instance of especial sexual
pleasure. If _dick-string_ had been used in any other context than in this
single fixed phrase, then surely someone else would have figured out its
exact meaning, even though I was too lame to figure it out for myself, and
I would have been ridiculed for being so unhip as to need to ask somebody.

Perhaps you had to have been there.

> Here I read "the notional governor of a man’s ability to attain an
> erection" as being an imaginary string that pulls the penis up and forward
> (never mind the frenum, which is on its underside: this is a
> different sense).

That’s what I thought, back, then: that it was, perhaps, imaginary, a mere
turn of phrase. But other guys, who had never read the relevant section of
Gray’s Anatomy, tried to explain it to me in terms of the gross anatomy of
the penis as something real that was literally popped - and, presumably,
grew back together, only to be popped again, the next time that the speaker
had occasion to whale a while. I could have followed up these jive-time
"explanations" by asking what it is, exactly, that happens, when your
dick-string pops. But I didn’t want to embarrass anybody.

OTOH, the definition of _dick-string_ as  "the notional governor of a man’s
to attain an erection" is a real sockdolager. Really, nobody *ever*
explained it to me that way! That this interpretation of a word that was
undefined and that occurred only in a single phrase in StL in 1952 should
have acquired such an impressive meaning - perhaps even in The Lou itself;
you never know - in 1967 is interesting.

Of course, this meaning could have been around for a century or more and
was never written down. That it was unknown in StL could be simply


IAC, I’ve looked at all instances of the word in GBooks and I _still_ don’t
know what it means, if anything. Check them out. There are only 151
instances, 132 hyphenated, 19 not, including examples like "James Dick,
string accompaniment." Abstracting away from the dictionary definitions -
as is so often the case, you can pass over the one from the UD - included,
you can draw your own conclusion as to what a dick-string is and as to what
_dick-string_ means.

WTF, here’s a freebie:

Three Days Before the Shooting ... - Page 221
Ralph Ellison, ‎John Callahan, ‎Adam Bradley - 2011 - ‎Preview
I heard the mop smack the floor behind me and Charleston saying, "Yeah,
man, but you didn’t have to shoot him; you hit him with that Cadillac and
that was enough to break his _dickstring_," and Minifees’ laughter coughed
and sputtered in the dark.

"… break his _dickstring_" : rob him of his ability to get on hard? Could
be. Getting hit by a car might could do that.


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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