"Call-and-response" slang

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Fri Jun 18 11:34:26 UTC 2004

From:    Wilson Gray <hwgray at EARTHLINK.NET>

: Back in the middle 'Fifties, there were some slang expressions that
: consisted of two parts: one person said one part and the other person
: replied with the other part. The calls continue, more or less, to be
: used today, but, for some reason, the responses have been lost. A
: couple of examples are:

: Call: Hang loose!
: Response: Swing easy!

: Call: How are they (understood to refer to one's testicles) hanging?
: Response I: Side by side, for power!
: Response II: One behind the other, for speed!

: I haven't tried to keep count, but, it seems to me, "How's _it_
: hanging?" is, today, heard _far_ more often than what is, for me, the
: original version.

For me growing up (80s, Southern Maryland) i wasn't familiar with "How're
they hangin'?" I did, however, know that if someone said "How's it
hangin'?"--and if there were no school officials nearby--the only correct
response was a slightly drawn-out and emphatic "Long and low."

David Bowie                                         http://pmpkn.net/lx
    Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
    house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
    chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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