Off the ol' hookeroo

Lisa Galvin lisagal23 at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 28 16:29:34 UTC 2010

A friend of mine is a translator, and now and then she asks me questions about particularly troublesome (meaning difficult to look up, find online, etc.) English expressions she is faced with translating into Japanese. Usually I can come up with answers for her, along with some history and other examples, using my own knowledge and a little research, but trying to nail this one down got me stuck. 
This is a Peanuts comic where Lucy and Linus are having the following exchange:


LUCY: How sould you like to see a list of things I want for Christmas?
LINUS: Absolutely not!! I want my gift to you this year to be a complete and
delightful surprise.
LUCY: What a lovely generous thought...
(and off she goes...)
LINUS: Off the Ol' Hookeroo!!


Of course the  <ol'> + <*eroo> construction is a way of colloqializing the expression "off the hook", but does anyone know when that started or how to better define the construction and its nuance of meaning? 


It's a tough one to Google (this one kept getting me "did you mean, 'old hooker'?" Uh, no, no I did not). 


I know we have "The ol' switcheroo", any other examples you can think of?


Oh, and just for the record, she ended up translating this line as something like "Good, I'm safe for now".


Lisa Galvin

Seattle WA


The American Dialect Society -

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