[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.

---
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23203572/tcb/
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."
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23203572/tcb/
---

--bgz

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


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