[Ads-l] giving Aretha Franklin her propers

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 27 19:29:14 EDT 2018

On Mon, Aug 27, 2018 at 7:13 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> Of potential interest, my latest piece for The Atlantic, on Aretha
> Franklin's use of "propers" in "Respect" (which later gave rise to "props")
> -- soon to be properly recognized by the OED.
> https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/08/
> aretha-franklin-finally-gets-her-props/568555/
> Matt Kohl previously wrote about this for the Oxford Dictionaries blog:
> https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2013/03/25/r-e-s-p-e-c-t-find-out-
> what-it-means-to-me/
> The other Aretha-ism discussed by Matt, "TCB" = "take care of business,"
> can now be found several years before "Respect" in the newspaper databases.
> Here it is in a syndicated column by Stan Delaplane ("Fans Make Up Jazz
> Language, Then the Musicians Learn It"), quoting jazz trumpeter Art Farmer:
> ---
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23202793/tcb/
> Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner, Feb. 27, 1961, p. 5A, col. 2
> "We just try to TCB."
> "What is that, Mr. Farmer?"
> "Take care of business," he said. "You know. Be conscientious."
> ---

Earlier still, here's a 1960 Art Buchwald column ("An English Lesson in
Paris") about Swedish trombonist Ake Persson learning English expressions
from American jazz musicians performing in Paris.

Newport (R.I.) Daily News, Feb. 6, 1960, p. 6, col. 8
Mr. Kilbert took over. "Ake, what is TCB?"
Mr. Persson thought hard. "Taking care of business?"
"Correct," Miss Gray said. "Whatever you're doing seriously is TCB."


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

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