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

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 12 03:19:18 EDT 2018


The phrase "to take a mike out of" seems to precede "to take a mickey
out of" and "to take a piss out of". There appear to be instances in
1895, 1901, and 1922. I will post tomorrow.
Garson

On Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 2:14 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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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