[Ads-l] "The whole 'Mary Ann'" again, antedating to 1944
b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 8 12:19:06 EST 2022
A couple of years ago, I looked for appearances of "the whole Mary Ann" --
a weird relative of "the whole [nine yards/shebang/megillah/enchilada,
etc.]" -- and reported on some early ones (ca. 1950). See below.
I no longer find my theory about how this may have evolved very appealing,
but here's at least a sighting of the expression from 1944. (FWIW, note
that "Mary Ann" is within quotation marks and this example joins others
from vaguely the Pacific northwest and west coast.)
PACK SADDLES for mules and horses, also side sacks for pack-saddles.
Latigos, cinchas, lariats, pads, straps, buckles, and the whole "Mary Ann"
if you are packing to [sic] the hills.
[From a classified ad for Farr & Elwood Co., Marshfield and Coquille,
Oregon, in Coos Bay Times (Marshfield and North Bend, Oregon), 16 October
1944, p. 5.]
On Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 4:22 PM Bonnie Taylor-Blake <b.taylorblake at gmail.com>
In 1995, listmember Dan Goodman forwarded Jan Gorden's query from the
> "Dear Fellow Wombats -- We have a patron who is looking for the etymology
> of the phrase 'the whole Mary Ann (or Marianne)'. Several of us here in
> southern Oregon have heard this phrase and the general consensus is that it
> means 'the whole enchilada, kit and caboodle', etc. But we can't find
> anything that SAYS that's what it means. We have checked all our phrase
> books, quote books, slang dictionaries, and so on. Many thanks in advance."
> It doesn't appear that anyone followed up on this, so -- fond of these
> expressions -- I went looking for some early usages of this seldom-used
> idiom. Better late than never.
> I should note first that DARE documents "Mary Ann(e)" as an adjective.
> 1872 Twain Roughing It 455, [In Honolulu] I saw cats—Tomcats, Mary Ann
> cats, long-tailed cats, bob-tailed cats.
> 1916 DN 4.342 seOH, Mary Ann. Vile; low; mean; e.g. “That is a Mary Anne
> saloon.” [DN Ed: “A Queen Anne front and Mary Ann back.” N. Eng. . . Also
> N. Car. . . ]
> [Ibid, Queen Anne. Beautiful: opposite of Mary Anne, q.v.]
> And Jon Lighter's "The Slang of the American Expeditionary Forces in
> Europe, 1917-1919: An Historical Glossary" (American Speech 47: 5-142,
> 1972) mentions "all to the Mary-Ann" (1929) with the meaning
> "satisfactory"; this is one of those "San Fairy Ann"/"Mary Ann" forms
> evolving from "ça ne fait rien."
> (OED lists three meanings: "[a]n effeminate man, or one who takes a female
> role; a homosexual man," "a marijuana cigarette," and "a taximeter.")
> I suspect that "the whole Mary Ann idea of city government" in the 1920
> excerpt (below) may have to do with a "Mary Ann ballot," an occasionally
> complex, sometimes unfair three- (or more) candidate ballot scheme that
> depended on voters ranking their candidate choices (sometimes in multiple
> voting rounds), then in place in Ohio and elsewhere. "Mary Ann ballot" goes
> back at least to 1905. (There was no further mention of "Mary Ann" in that
> 1920 editorial.)
> I'm at a loss to know how this type of balloting acquired its name, but I
> think it's at least possible that the "Mary Ann" voting mechanism may have
> given rise to "the whole Mary Ann," a phrase signifying "the whole lot; a
> collection of things; the whole thing."
> Unless someone comes up with a better theory (or 19th-c instances of "the
> whole Mary Ann").
> -- Bonnie
> For us to have raised that point would have been to arm those who know of
> our latent objection to the whole Mary Ann idea of city government with the
> specious argument that we were trying to kill the blessed and innocent
> charter for all the glory and advancement of the Republican party.
> [From "Is the Charter Any Good?", The Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, 1 January
> 1920, p. 4.]
> "The thing had no name until a friend of mine used it in Southeastern
> Alaska in a stream where rainbows, cutthroats, Dolly Vardens and salmon all
> abounded. He beat the heck out of me with my own creation, and, when he
> said 'Man, this catches 'em all; the whole Mary Ann of 'em,' the name was
> [From a description of the "Alaska Mary Ann Bucktail," a type of fishing
> lure, in Joseph D. Bates, Jr., _Streamer Fly Fishing in Fresh and Salt
> Water_ (D. Van Nostrand Co., 1950, p. 241).]
> Such a procedure would result in the whole Mary Ann going under a log jam
> at the first sharp bend, and it wouldn't come out either.
> [From a Google snippet view of Jay P. Williams's _Alaskan Adventure_
> (Stackpole Company, 1952). Williams is discussing how not to maneuver a
> boat downstream.]
> SACRIFICE ILL HEALTH -- man and wife variety store. Lower overhead; stock,
> fixtures, the whole Mary Ann, See Bill at H. de Waard Real Estate,
> Sutherlin, Oregon, Ph. 2142 P.O. Box 241.
> [A classified ad in The News-Review (Roseburg, OR), 3 September 1954, p.
> 324 Mixed cattle, 1,300 A. Deeded Modoc Co. 520 A. Irrig. Free water puts
> up spprox. 400 T. hay, 6-40 A. high Mt. meadow, long lease at S270. yearly,
> 3 Tractors all equip. large reservoir, 3 bdr. home the whole Mary Ann
> $183,000. $29% down.
> [From a classified ad in The Sacramento Bee, 27 April 1961, p. C17.]
> In Detroit when you talk about "the whole marianne" you mean the whole
> [Arthur Unger's piece about teen slang, "The Creep Is Gone," The
> (Louisville, KY) Courier Journal, 18 June 1961, Section 3, p. 6.]
> Keppler scores the bottle with a red-hot iron. If it doesn't explode in
> the process he wraps the whole Mary-Ann with with [sic] adhesive tape, then
> comes a covering of fancy ribbons.
> [From Philip Harding's "The Cheerful Vintner" column, The Bakersfield
> Californian, 29 May 1963, p. 14. This phrase seems to have been a favorite
> of his.]
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