[Ads-l] He is a rascal/scalawag/SOB, but he is our rascal/scalawag/SOB

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Thu Feb 25 04:31:13 EST 2021

That's an impressive collection. The version I may have heard first was with "dictator," sometimes attributed to cold war times. E.g.:

. . . And Perhaps in Bosnia Too: [FINAL Edition]<https://search.proquest.com/docview/408324241/FCA3D40DBF14462BPQ/7?accountid=10598>
Hiatt, Fred. The Washington Post; Washington, D.C. [Washington, D.C]13 July 1997: C, 7:2.

...We used to blame those temptations on the Cold War ("He's a dictator, but he's our
dictator"); they turn out to stem more from human nature than from the struggle...


From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 7:26 PM
Subject: He is a rascal/scalawag/SOB, but he is our rascal/scalawag/SOB

Way back in 2007 Bonnie Taylor-Blake posted some great information
about the template:

He may be a _____, but he's our _____

I've been asked to explore this topic, and now there is a Quote
Investigator article:

He Is a Great Rascal. Ah! But He Is Our Rascal

[Acknowledgment in the body of the article]
QI wishes to acknowledge researchers Bonnie Taylor-Blake and Barry
Popik who identified many valuable examples.
[End acknowledgment]

[Acknowledgement at the end of the article]
Great thanks to Carlos Gómez Abajo and Peter G. Epps whose inquiries
led QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration. Thanks
also to researchers Bonnie Taylor-Blake, Barry Popik, Nigel Rees, and
Fred R. Shapiro for their efforts on this topic.
[End acknowledgment]

Here are some links:




The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!6_W8F5puVadXya9mdSgIfzhOzy37mvaiMTMzmDZSvTuumrm0iqBcB2unrtz7LC_g$

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

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