[Ads-l] "Yay long"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 3 19:16:44 EDT 2017


I don't think the June 1940 cite matches the other ones -- I'd read the
"yea" there as "indeed" (OED sense 3: "used to introduce a statement,
phrase, or word, stronger or more emphatic than that immediately
preceding").

On Wed, May 3, 2017 at 6:54 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
> wrote:

> Great work, Bill. Here is an instance from June 1940 of the phrase
> "yea large as" which is part of a comparison construct. I guess if you
> say "yea large" and employ a hand motion then you are implicitly using
> a comparison.
>
> Interestingly, this item was first published in 1915 and the 1940
> appearance was a reprint. Perhaps "yea large" is being used in a
> different way? Or perhaps this citation will provide some etymological
> insight.
>
> Date: June 15, 1940
> Newspaper: The Iola Register
> Newspaper Location: Iola, Kansas
> Article: 25 Years Ago - Items From The Register of June 15, 1915
> Quote Page 4, Column 4
> Database: Newspapers.com
>
> https://www.newspapers.com/image/4910890/?terms=%22yea%2Blarge%22
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> W. P. Bell, of Wolf Bros, barber shop enters his Downing gooseberries
> for the medal in their line. The berries are large as marbles, yea
> large as the favorite "taw" of Skinnay who always shoots with the
> largest "boulder" he can find. The bushes are but two years old and
> are yielding six gallons each.
> [End excerpt]
>
> The article title indicated that the item was being reprinted from an
> issue of the newspaper published in 1915, and that claim was true.
> Here is the citation and a link:
>
> Date: June 15, 1915
> Newspaper: The Iola Daily Register
> Newspaper Location: Iola, Kansas
> Article: Untitled item
> Quote Page 3, Column 6
> Database: Newspapers.com
>
> https://www.newspapers.com/image/1058604/?terms=%22yea%2Blarge%2Bas%22
>
> Garson
>
>
> On Wed, May 3, 2017 at 6:15 PM, MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY
> RDECOM AMRDEC (US) <william.d.mullins18.civ at mail.mil> wrote:
> > Bend OR _The Bend Bulletin_ 24 Sep 1941 p 27 col 2
> > "Dress goods -- woolens, cottons, in astonishing array, plaids,
> corduroys, it's all there at Wetle's, with books yea-big of patterns, for
> those handy with a needle."
> >
> > La Grande OR _La Grande Observer_ 11 May 1943 p 6 col 1
> > "Fireman Oscar Marshall put Sunday afternoon to good use by catching a
> fine limit of trout from the Wallowa river, including several which were
> "oh, about yay big!" "
> >
> > La Grande OR _La Grande Observer_ 24 Jun 1943 p 1 col 2
> > "Due to Jean's age and size, she will have to wait awhile to enlist in
> the WAAC, but she won't have to wait long for her uniform, which is size --
> oh, well, about so long . . . and yay wide, complete with metal military
> buttons."
> >
> >
>

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