Antedatings in the Yale Book of Quotations -- 16: Funny Peculiar

Alison Murie sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Sun Dec 3 21:26:41 UTC 2006

Not an antedating, but ISTR this rendered, "Funny ha-ha or funny hmnh?" by
one of the Marx brothers, probably Chico.

>FWIW, I first encountered this as an Ike-era tot while watching the old
>Ann Sothern _Private Secretary_ show on TV. I'm quite sure the phrasing
>was "You mean funny ha-ha or funny peculiar?"
>  And so it's been for me ever since. Rhetorically effective, since
>"ha-ha" is the fundamental meaning of "funny."
>  No fun intended.
>  JL
>Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU> wrote:

>funny peculiar, funny ha-ha (OED 1938 for both)
>1928 Mariel Brady _Genevieve Gertrude_ ch. 7 "Do you mean funny peculiar,
>or funny ha-ha?" she inquired politely. ... "Cause," explained his mentor
>gravely, "our teacher don't allow us to say funny when we mean peculiar.
>It's bad English, you know."
>Fred Shapiro

~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>

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