Amos, Andy, and "unlax"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Jan 22 03:19:24 UTC 2008

On Jan 21, 2008 9:09 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
> At 5:25 PM -0500 1/21/08, Wilson Gray wrote:
> > Does anyone say "relax yourself" in any dialect?
> Sorry, Wilson.  I hate to be the source of disabuse (better than dat
> abuse), but there are *185,000* google hits for "relax yourself",
> headed by various no doubt ripoff organizations teaching you how to
> do it, including one featuring "[a] stylish music video from
> Colombia, complete with dream-rock grooves."

And then there's the line repeated over the hook in "Electric
Relaxation" by A Tribe Called Quest (from their 1993 album "Midnight
Marauders"): "Relax yourself girl, please settle down."  (Often
misheard as "...preset plan" or something similar.)

Here's the video:

And here's a remake by Kanye West and Consequence where the line is
changed to "Relax yourself or we'll whack ya down":

--Ben Zimmer
--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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