[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 15:37:15 EDT 2018


Thanks for your response, Gerald. As you note, the rhyming slang
origin hypothesis has been presented in slang references, e.g.,
Partridge. "Mike Bliss", "Micky Bliss", and "Mickey Bliss" are
reportedly substitutes for "piss".

What is the substantive evidence linking "Mike Bliss", "Micky Bliss",
and "Mickey Bliss" to "piss"? Do you Gerald? Do you know JL?

The citations I have posted to ADS occurred many years before the
citations in the OED and the citations in slang references such as
Partridge.  Also, OED does not seem to have "to take the mike out"
although it does have entries for "to take the mickey out" (first OED
cite 1948) and "to take the piss out" (first OED cite 1945).

Year: 2006
Title: The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional
English Volume 2: J-Z
Editors: Tom Dalzell (Senior Editor), ‎Terry Victor (Editor)
Publisher: Routledge
Database: Google Books Preview

[Begin excerpt]
take the micky; take the mickey; take the mick; take the michael

to make fun of someone; to pull someone's leg UK, 1935

All variations of rhyming slang MIKE BLISS; MICKY BLISS (PISS);
literal and euphemistic translations of TAKE THE PISS, The variations
on 'mickey', 'mick' etc. may be given an initial capital.

They're all the same them gits, sneering like. Taking the mickey out
of other people all the time, like they was something special or
something. —John Peter Jones, Feather Pluckers, p. 46, 1964
[End excerpt]

Garson

On Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 2:36 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at mst.edu> wrote:
> I'm coming late to this discussion. so maybe the point
>
> has already been made.  The expression Take the Mickey
>
> out is Cockney rhyming slang; Mickey here is short for
>
> Mickey Bliss.
>
>
> Take the Mike out seems to be a slight alteration of
>
> Take the Mickey out.
>
>
> Gerald Cohen
>
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2018 12:34:53 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: 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)
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      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)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> 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. =E2=80=94The defendant had pre-
> viously been convicted for similar damage.=E2=80=94 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.=E2=80=94The 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=E2=80=99s
> 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?=E2=80=9D 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?=E2=80=9D asked counsel.
>
> Judge Sir T. Granger: Let me know by
> all means what the expression conveys. I
> don=E2=80=99t 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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>
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