Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Thu Dec 9 04:49:41 UTC 2004

On Dec 8, 2004, at 10:43 PM, Dave Hause wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Dave Hause <dwhause at JOBE.NET>
> Subject:      Re: x-lockers
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> I got 'blivet' in 1962 (but as 10 pounds in a 5 pound bag) from my
> algebra
> teacher in 10th grade (medically retired WWII infantry lieutenant.)
> Dave Hause, dwhause at jobe.net
> Ft. Leonard Wood, MO
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bruce Hunter" <bhunter3 at MINDSPRING.COM>

"Ten pounds in a five-pound bag" is also the form in which I heard it
in the middle '50's, but I prefer the spelling "blivit." BTW, wasn't
the blivit also a kind of trompe-l'oeil? It was a drawing of a kind of
vaguely trident-like figure. But, at second glance, it could be seen
that the blivit had only a bifurcation. However, at third glance, it
became clear that the blivit really *was* trident-like. Etc., etc. I
don't remember where or when I first saw this drawing, but it was some
time in the '60's that I learned that it was supposedly also called a
"blivit." I read it somewhere. In living speech I've heard only the
bag-of-shit usage.

-Wilson Gray

> --- Original Message -----
> From: "Jonathan Lighter" <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
>> Thanks, Bruce. This sense of "blivet" is new to me. It started out as
>> a
> joke meaning "six pounds of crap in > a five-pound bag."  Later it
> became a
> giant air-dropped supply bladder. So a fuel tank is no great leap.
> >
> Could you put a more precise date on this for us?
> I heard it in 1970, if memory serves.

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