"Double Take" & more from PIC

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Aug 21 03:16:18 UTC 2001

   I read the entire year of 1946 (reel six--last reel?) and 1937-1939 (reel one) of PIC.


   OED also has 1938.
   From PIC, 27 December 1938, pg. 6, col. 2:

   _Hollywood Directors Have Stock Phrases_
      _for Comedy, Tragedy, Love,_
         _Ecstasy and Hate_
When a Hollywood director bawls, "Give me love," he isn't singing a torch song.  He is using a stock phrase for asking an actor to portray romantic yearning.  Similarly, when he says "I want a double-take," the actor knows he doesn't want the camera to shoot the scene twice.  What the director is asking for is a stock comedy routine, at which you've howled a thousand times.  You remember seeing one guy call another guy a name, and the second guy take it lying down (Col. 3--ed.) because he didn't catch on?  Suddenly he comes to, realizes he's been called a name and bounces back--too late--at his heckler.  The "double-take" originated when a director was watching his dog with a fly.  The fly tickled the dog's nose, the dog twitched absentmindedly and then--too late--went after his tormentor.  Here Allen Jenkins illustrates the "double-take" and a number of the other stock expressions demanded of actors by directors.

_Dougle-take (1):_  "That guy calling me a dope?
_Double-take (2):_  "Maybe he was calling me a dope."
_Double-take (3):_  "Say, who's a dope?"


   From PIC, March 1946, pg. 32:

_"Are You With It?"
(Photo caption--ed.)
_IN SHOW-WORLD lingo, the expression "Are you with it?" means "are you with the carnival?"  These ensemble girls prove they _really_ are.


   From PIC, 7 February 1939, pg. 22, col. 1:

The stage has its stars, the opera its divas and the ballet its prima ballerinas--but burlesque has its queens.  They are the stars of the show and the backbone of the burlesque industry.  Touring the country, they get all the ballyhoo and draw in most of the customers at the burlesque houses in the big cities.


   From PIC, "Cal York's GOSSIP OF HOLLYWOOD," 4 April 1939, pg. 14,col. 1:

"Did you hear that so-and-so is going to...bzzz...bzzz?"  If you, too, have passed the word along, you're in the company, but not the class, of the big-league gossipers, the Hollywood columnists, who make thousands by giving the low-down on the stars.


   Is this gymnastic maneuver not in the revised OED?
   From PIC, 10 January 1939, pg. 39, col. 1:

_Maltese cross._  Most Herculean of all moves illustrated by Turturro.

(A gymnast hangs by two rings, like a cross--ed.)


   The RHHDAS has 1965, "_Pol._ a round of after-dinner speaking engagements."  Not coined by Ronald Reagan, as those citations seem to indicate.
   From PIC, November 1946, pg. 56, col. 3:

   From the day he took over as coach and general manager, he and his assoicates were on the "mashed potato" circuit speaking to clubs of every kind, outlining their plans and their hopes and ever spreading the doctrine of "if you want to know about football, we'll tell you."


   Not in the RHHDAS?
   DICKSON'S NEW BASEBALL DICTIONARY has "Mile wide  Describing a wild pitch or throw."  This is "missed by a mile."
   From PIC, "WHAT THE FAN SEES," 20 September 1938, pg. 4, col. 2:

"_Why, that big bum called him safe._  He was out a mile."

YOU ASKED FOR IT--photo feature title of PIC photo requests from the second issue in 1937.

WHAT'S EVER BECOME OF--? --also used by PIC early in 1937.

WHAT ARE THEY DOING NOW?--PIC, October 1937, pg. 34, col. 2: "This department was formerly called 'What's Ever Become Of--?'  "PIC" now abandons the title upon learning that it has been used for several years by a syndicated cartoonist."

YOU KNEW THEM WHEN-- --PIC, 6 September 1938, pg. 3, col. 1.


   Not in RHHDAS.  From boxing.
   From PIC, March 1938, pg. 4, col. 2:

   This is known as the "Bunny-Snug" or "Close-hauled Huddle."  The idea is to get inside and up close where you can waltz in comfort without being knocked off by a wild hay-maker.


   Some people say the Savoy (in Harlem) started it.  Citations are from the 1930s.
   From PIC, 15 November 1938, pg. 9, col. 2:

   _Joan (Crawford--ed.) originated_ the "Lindy Hop" in "Dancing Daughters," 1927, a jazzy role which made her a star.


   FWIW.  From "WHAT'S EVER BECOME OF--? ANNETTE KELLERMAN," PIC, May 1937, pg. 24, col. 2:

   Although she won her reputation as a swimmer and diver, her greatest bid to fame is that she originated the one-piece bathing suit!  She hit on the idea when she once wore a man's suit in a long distance swim.  The police arrested her when she emerged from the water.


   From PIC, March 1946, pg. 70:

_Curfew in Hollywood_

_Though Not a Town For Stay-Up-Lates, the Glamour City_
_Offers Entertainment Guaranteed To Please Every Taste_


   From PIC, October 1946, pg. 64:

_You Don't Need the Tiffany Touch To_
_Run Your Pony on the Big Apple Today--_
   _If You Own a Horse_


   From PIC, July 1938, pg. 3, col. 1:

   "Suicide Races" is what the people who frequent racetracks call steeplechases.  The reason can be plainly seen in these photographs of actual races.
(Col. 2--ed.)
   _But a member of the "Suicide Squad"_ rides more upright and lets the horse do as he pleases, guiding him only slightly.


   PIC, December 1946, pg. 64, "The Way I Look at the College Man...," mentions "BMOC," "bookworm," and "grind," but no "nerd."


   Nigel Rees's CASSELL DICTIONARY OF CLICHES has "Date of origin unknown.  A cliche by the 1960s/1970s."
   From PIC, 9 August 1938, pg. 13, col. 1:

   Falling stars are ready to settle down, and "get away from it all."

More information about the Ads-l mailing list