[Ads-l] Phrase: to take a mike out (April 6, 1895); taking the 'mike' out of (July 20, 1901); to take a "mike" out (March 14, 1922)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 12 13:34:53 EDT 2018


The phrases "take a mike out of" and "take the mike out of" occurred
in the written record before "take the mickey out of" (based on the
citations I have located). The 1922 citation provides an
interpretation for the phrase.

Date: April 6, 1895
Newspaper: East London Advertiser - Tower Hamlets Independent
Newspaper Location: London, England
Article: East London Police, Thames
Quote Page 7, Column 3
Database: British Newspaper Archive

[Begin excerpt - check for errors]
>From the state-
ment of Mr. George Hay Young, who prosecuted, it
appeared that the defendant asked Mr. Peacock to
give him trust for some beer. On the prosecutor
refusing, Bassano said, "Well, here goes." He then
threw two pewter pots through the window. When
charged he said, "He tried to take a mike out of me,
and I took one out of him. —The defendant had pre-
viously been convicted for similar damage.— Mr.
Mead sentenced him to two month's hard labour.
[End excerpt]


Date: July 20, 1901
Newspaper: Gravesend and Dartford Reporter
Newspaper Location: Kent, England
Article: Northfleet Petty Sessions
Quote Page 8, Column 2
Database: British Newspaper Archive

[Begin excerpt - check for errors]
Com-
plainant deposed that on 29th June defendant came
home in the afternoon and asked her what money
she wanted. Eventually he gave her 10s. Whilst
she was mending a pillow case in which he wanted
to take his regimental clothes to Tilbury he was
cleaning his boots and said "If you sit there
taking the 'mike' out of me I will knock you to
the ground." She did not know what he meant
by that. Witness then went into the front room,
and he followed and struck her a severe blow on
one of her eyes, blackening it. It was still pain-
ful. . . .

Defendant made a statement, in which he said
"I thought I married my wife and not all the
family." He was sorry for the assault but did it
under great provocation.—The Bench convicted
defendant of an aggravated assault and sentenced
him to 14 days' hard labour.
[End excerpt]


Date: March 14, 1922
Newspaper: Northern Daily Mail
Newspaper Location: West Hartlepool, England (Durham, England)
Article: Bewildered Judge
Quote Page 3, Column 2
Database: British Newspaper Archive

[Begin excerpt - check for errors]
BEWILDERED JUDGE.
What Taking a 'Mike' Out of Him Means.

Slang of the road, which had to be inter-
preted to both counsel and judge, was
much in evidence at Southwark County
Court yesterday in an action for damages
arising out of collision in Rotherhithe.

Richard Tickner, a haulage contractor,
complained that an electric tank, the pro-
perty of Watney, Combe, Reid, Com-
pany, collided with his lorry.

"Did you tell the man in charge that
you wanted to speak to the driver and not
to the oil rag?" asked Messrs. Watney’s
counsel.

Witness denied the suggestion, and
said he would not dream of addressing a
working man in such a manner.

Well, what is an oil rag?” asked
counsel.

"It is a man who has charge of noth-
ing," replied witness. "He is just there."

Later witness complained that the em-
ployees of defendants tried to take a "mike"
out of him.

"What on earth is the meaning of that
expression?” asked counsel.

Judge Sir T. Granger: Let me know by
all means what the expression conveys. I
don’t wish to be like the judges of the
High Court. (Laughter.)

Witness explained that a "mike"
meant to take rise out him.
[End excerpt]

Garson

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


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