Teen follies

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Dec 14 23:05:38 UTC 2006

Earlier still:

  1755-56 George Colman _The Connoisseur_ (London: R. Baldwin) I 242: _Dick_ rode his roan gelding, and _Tom_ his chesnut mare...but I beat them hollow.


"Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Arnold M. Zwicky"
Subject: Re: Teen follies

On Dec 14, 2006, at 2:05 PM, Emily G. Cunningham wrote:

> I'm sorry to interrupt this thread with a non sequitur, but I'd
> never heard
> the phrase "beat all hollow" before. What is its origin? What does
> it mean?
> (besides "thoroughly beat", I presume...)

OED, under BEAT:

Phr. to beat all, anything, everything, etc., has been common in the
U.S. since the second quarter of the 19th cent. (A natural extension
of 4: cf. similar use of thrash, drub, lick, etc. The earlier
examples show the transition. In the colloquial to beat one hollow,
to sticks, to ribands, etc., there is a play upon other senses of beat.)

[19th century quote for "beat them hollow"]

yes, 'beat thoroughly'.

"beat them hollow" picks up (small numbers of) webhits from the UK,
NZ, AU, as well as US.


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