Phrase inquiry: "Spanish news"

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Fri Dec 14 20:53:27 UTC 2001

For this, wouldn't the time of the Spanish-American war be more
likely? It was coverage of this war that put the "yellow" in "yellow
journalism", so to speak.

Donald M Lance wrote:
>Is the play set in the time of the Spanish revolution?
>> From: "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
>> Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 09:19:19 -0500
>> Subject: Re: Fwd: Phrase inquiry:  "Spanish news"
>> I can't find anything. Maybe some commentator on Tennessee Williams has
>> elucidated this. I found two other instances on the Web which are exactly
>> analogous, possibly copied from Williams' usage: they add nothing.
>> I am reduced to rank speculation. What word could replace "Spanish" here
>> and make sense? I have three answers, giving three interpretations of
>> "Spanish". Take your pick, if you can't find anything better.
>> (1) "Spanish" = "hot" (climate, spicy food, passionate temperament, ...).
>> (2) "Spanish" = "blunt" -- from equating the old slang nouns "spanish" and
>> "blunt", both meaning "money" in the same milieu (I think).
>> (3) [my favorite] "Spanish" = "spick-and-span" = "fresh", merely an
>> intensifier for "new(s)" ... "spick-and-span" of course says "Spanish"
>> twice, once as vulgar slang and once as an abbreviation.
>> -- Doug Wilson

Alice Faber                                             faber at
Haskins Laboratories                                  tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                                     fax (203) 865-8963

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