pds at VISI.COM
Thu Jul 12 05:24:59 UTC 2001
Douglas G. Wilson wrote (quoting James A. Landau):
>>"Hi-dee" and its numerous variants such as "hi-dee-ho" is a greeting.
DARE has "hidy" as a variation on "howdy". But "hi-de" seems to be the
preferred spelling in the songs of Calloway and others, according the the
piano rolls I've seen as well as on-line song compilations. For example,...
>Right, and also a nonsense interjection.
>I'm reminded of "Minnie the Moocher" (Cab Calloway, ca. 1930, I think): the
>chorus has "hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi".
Which is why I first put the question to Gerald Cohen, since he has written
on Calloway and "hi-de-ho".
>>Hence the second stanza you quoted appears to mean something like
>>And when I begged you for a little sympathy,
>>Didn't you even try to [call me up and say hi to me]?
>Only if the "didn't" is actually meant to be "did", I think.
I think it's pretty clear from context that
"Didn't you even try...?" = "You even tried...!"
>I picture the "hi-de hi-de" as being either
>(1) something frivolous like "la-di-da" or "har-de-har" ... thus, "Didn't
>you even try to [make fun of me]/[make light of my troubles]?"
>or (2) a nonsense replacement for something like "casually seduce"/"f*ck" ...
>thus, "Didn't you even try to [take advantage of me]?"
To which speculation might be added:
or (3) BS or obfuscation ... thus "Didn't you even try to [lay a snow job
or (4) an all-purpose euphemism ... thus "Didn't you even try to [well, you
or (5) dismiss, get rid of ... thus "Didn't you even try to [give me the
or (6) literally to say "hi-de hi-de" ... thus "Didn't you even try to
[ignore me by spouting nonsense syllables]?"
But apart from speculation, is there any light to be shed on this usage?
Tom Kysilko Practical Data Services
pds at visi.com Saint Paul MN USA
More information about the Ads-l