[Ads-l] Phrase: take the mickey out of (May 28, 1923; antedates OED)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 12 02:14:18 EDT 2018


Wilson Gray wrote:
>> I just opened to take him down.
>
> Is there a version of this in Yankspeak?

Garson suggested:
Good question. I am not sure how to interpret the remark. Perhaps
"opened" meant "opened the throttle" to achieve a greater speed, and
"take him down" meant "reduce his arrogance" by achieving a greater
speed. This concurs with the interpretation provided by Mark.


> On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 11:53 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <
> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> The OED has "to take the mickey (out of): to behave or speak
>> satirically or mockingly; to make fun of, satirize, or debunk (a
>> person or thing)." The first OED citation is dated 1948.
>>
>> The OED also has "to take the piss (out of): to make fun (of), to
>> mock, deride, satirize; = to take the mickey (out of) at mickey." The
>> first OED citation is dated 1945.
>>
>> Below is pertinent citation for "take the mickey out of" in a London
>> newspaper in 1923.
>>
>> Date: May 28, 1923
>> Newspaper: Daily Herald
>> Newspaper Location: London, England
>> Article: Runs Risk for Girl
>> Quote Page 7, Column 5
>> Database: British Newspaper Archive
>>
>> [Begin excerpt; double-check for errors]
>> RUNS RISK FOR GIRL
>> Dangerous Driving Charge Sequel to Taunt
>>
>> "It's like this—a man in a motor-car
>> was trying to take the 'mickey' out of
>> me, and I just opened to take him down.
>> He turned round and laughed at me as he
>> passed, and the girl the back of my bike
>> said, 'I shouldn't stand that,' I shot
>> ahead of him." This was the excuse of
>> Clifford Smith, baker, Uppingham-road,
>> Leicester, when charged with dangerous
>> driving at the Leicester court.
>>
>> For "shooting ahead" he was ordered
>> to pay £3 and his licence was endorsed.
>> [End excerpt]
>>
>> Garson
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>
>
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> 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

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


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