*Lush* life > *luxe* life?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 29 22:43:03 UTC 2008

Heard on local news:

"The Patriots are living the _luxe_ life in this five-star hotel."

Is there anyone else old enough to remember when the comfortably
well-off were said to be "living the _lush_ life"? Someone may even be
old enough to remember "Lush Life," the jazz classic composed by Billy
Strayhorn, Duke Ellington's personal composer and arranger. Perhaps
this original meaning was killed by all those puns based upon "lush"
as "alcoholic."  The comic-strip character, Little Iodine, authored
and illustrated by Jimmy Hatlo, had an alcoholic relative named "Uncle
Lushwell." It seems to me that this latter meaning still lives, but
that could be only because of my advanced stage of maturity. (I'm
finally beginning to realize that, quite often, when I state that X
*is* the case, what I really should be claiming is that X *was* the
case, because I'm talking about conditions as they were fifty - or
even more - years ago.)

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
                                              -Sam'l Clemens

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

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