[Ads-l] Quote: Sometimes I sit and think, and then again I just sit

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 24 05:43:11 EDT 2018


I was asked to explore the following saying (and close variants):

Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.

Quotation expert Nigel Rees pointed to a cartoon caption in Punch on
Oct 24, 1906. The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations pointed to
the same cartoon:

https://books.google.com/books?id=mSNHAQAAMAAJ&q=%22just+sits%22#v=snippet&

[Begin excerpt]
"Well, mum, sometimes I sits and thinks and then again I just sits."
[End excerpt]

I've located an earlier instance of the expression. The Boston Record
was acknowledged:

Newspaper: The Pittsburgh Press
Newspaper Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Date: February 18, 1905
Article: How He Spent His Time
Quote Page 2

[Begin excerpt]
A bond salesman just back from Maine says he asked an old fisherman in
a snow-bound hamlet what he did with himself evenings. The reply was:
"Oh, sometimes I sit and think, and then again I just sit."—Boston
Record
[End excerpt]

Garson

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


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