Go soak your head

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Nov 14 14:16:25 UTC 2008

Does it make sense to tell someone else to "hit, strike" his own
head?  My association is with some notion of shame, embarrassment,
telling the other person to shame or perhaps improve (his head, his
thinking) by wetting it with something.  But from what curing liquid
that wetting notion arises from I have no idea.

By the way, I prefer the useful expression "He is now the editor of a
small, very weakly paper."  :-)   I can easily see an 18th century
newspaper printer/editor writing that about a rival for whom he has contempt.


At 11/13/2008 03:32 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
>Btw, is this "soak" in the sense "make completely wet" or in the
>sense "hit, strike"?
>Gerald Cohen
>From: George Thompson, Thu 11/13/2008 9:18 AM
>It does not seem that the OED has an entry for this very useful expression.
>         He came out at the Little Drury, as one of the Sequin Opera
> Corps, was pelted, hissed and hooted off the stage.  ***  He was
> told to go home and "soak his head," with which he complied. . .
> .  ***  He is now the editor of a small, very weakly paper.
>         The Whip and Satirist of New York & Brooklyn, February 19,
> 1842, p. 3, col. 2
>George A. Thompson
>Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre",
>Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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