tar > paint > taint ?

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Feb 9 19:11:48 UTC 2006

On Feb 9, 2006, at 10:59 AM, sagehen wrote:

> Arnold writes (in a most interesting post):
>> well, the original idiom here is "tar with the same brush" (often in
>> the passive), and that's what you find in idiom dictionaries.  on the
>> web, "tar" beats out "taint" all hollow (in raw google webhits as of
>> this morning):............
> ~~~~~~~~~~
> ........which looks, to me, like a blend of his making, namely :
> "beats
> out.......all hollow."

it's a fair cop.

> "Beats all hollow," though I haven't heard it much in recent years,
> was a
> favorite expression of my father's.
> "Beats out" is still frequently heard.  I don't think I've ever
> encountered
> this blend.

i use them both.  just not simultaneously, until this morning.  then
i produced it inadvertently, noticed its mild oddity, and decided i
liked it anyway.  it's nicely excessive.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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