"... he can go back, go massive, or go yard."

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 8 04:26:07 UTC 2005

Thanks, guys! Maybe I should go back to reading the home-town broadsheet.


On 11/7/05, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu > wrote:
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> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject: Re: "... he can go back, go massive, or go yard."
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >On Sun, 6 Nov 2005 18:59:02 -0500, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >
> >>Okay, but what do "go back" and "go massive" mean?
> >
> >Same as "go yard", according to that St. Louis Post-Dispatch article.
> I've
> >never heard either of these used on ESPN et al., so I guess they didn't
> >catch on.
> "go back" predictably failed, given the homonymy with the more
> established and more motivated "go back" for the outfielder pursuing
> the ball. Chris Berman, on ESPN SportsCenter, popularized "back back
> back back...." a while back in covering the highlights, and I suppose
> that could apply to the ball or the outfielder but more likely the
> former; "X went back in the third", as opposed to "X went yard in the
> third" would be understood as referring to X as the outfielder, not
> the hitter.
> Larry
> >
> >I believe all of these "go ADV" expressions for hitting a home run are
> >modeled on "go deep". The OED draft entries cover the baseball sense of
> >"deep", though the only cite given for "go deep" is Dickson (1989).
> >
> >-----
> >
> >deep, adv.
> >Sport. In or to a point relatively distant from the originating point of
> >play, in reference to the (expected) direction of play and to the
> >(expected) usual point; spec.: (a) Cricket and Baseball. In a place
> >farther from the batsman or batter than is usual or expected (esp. used
> of
> >a player in a particular position); spec. (Baseball) of an infielder: in
> a
> >position in the outfield just beyond the infield; (of an outfielder) in a
> >position relatively close to the fence; (of the ball) to a point
> >relatively close to the fence.
> >1849 W. LILLYWHITE Young Cricketer's Guide 21 This fieldsman must stand
> >deeper. 1857 T. HUGHES Tom Brown's School Days II. viii. 388 The
> >batter..cuts it beautifully to where cover-point is standing very deep,
> in
> >fact almost off the ground. 1891 W. G. GRACE Cricket x. 265 Mid-on..is
> >placed close in or deep according to the wish of the bowler. 1900 G.
> >PATTEN Rockspur Nine xx. 178 John Smith had been playing 'deep'. Almost
> >instantly he saw that the ball was soaring on its way to pass over the
> >fence, yet he whirled and ran toward that fence as hard as he could. 1989
> >P. DICKSON Baseball Dict. 125/2 Both infielders and outfielders may play
> >deep, while the batter may hope to hit the ball deep or 'go deep'. 1989
> >Newsday 14 Aug. 93/3 Teufer, who was playing deep at second base, charged
> >the bouncing ball and had to decide in a instant whether to glove it.
> 2002
> >Penrith (Australia) Press (Nexis) 11 Oct., Another time I was fielding
> >deep when the wicketkeeper ran to get the ball but he did not let me know
> >he was there and we collided.
> >-----
> >
> >--Ben Zimmer

-Wilson Gray

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