Quick meaning alive

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat Jan 2 18:14:26 UTC 2010

On Jan 2, 2010, at 8:59 AM, Alison Murie wrote:

> On Jan 2, 2010, at 2:35 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: Quick meaning alive
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> FWIW, I've been doing some googling on the subject for the past week,
>> but, for some reason, can't settle on the final wording of the post.
>> So,
>> here's a summary. The bottom line is that until about 1830 exclusively
>> and until 1890s dominantly this was a purely biblical/liturgical line
>> from KJV and earlier translations, Apostles' and Nicene Creed and
>> from a
>> number of liturgies (more complete line would be "to judge the quick
>> and
>> the dead", which appears in at least three places in the New
>> Testament).
>> Modern translations ALL have "living" for "quick". The earliest
>> non-biblical catch was in the 1830 congressional record. The earliest
>> appearance of the pedestrian joke I traced to 1906--but UK, not US--
>> but
>> it is also clearly a secondary source. Perhaps a search of British
>> newspapers circa 1896-1905 will give an earlier hit. Could not find
>> the
>> original of the military version--although it clearly precedes WWII
>> and,
>> likely, WWI (and is also likely British in origin). There is an 1890
>> Punch cartoon on the Barttelot/Jameson affair that may or may not be
>> utilizing the same pun. The phrase was a VERY popular title of both
>> novels and chapters in novels (as well as some nonfiction) in the
>> 1880s
>> through 1910s. All trite stuff, except for the 1906 citation.
>> Will post the final copy over the weekend.
>>    VS-)
>> On 1/2/2010 2:11 AM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>>> Tonight, I asked two West Coasters in their mid-40s if they
>>> understood the LA joke. Both said they did, but on further
>>> questioning, neither understood that "quick" means "alive." Once
>>> they knew that, one commented that there was a movie
>>> ("Quickening ??" or "Quickened ??") whose title then made sense.
>>> AFAIK, this meaning is now restricted to "the quick and the dead."
>>> Since there is no other usage to inform people of the meaning
>>> "alive," this expression can propagate itself only through explicit
>>> education (in an educational setting or a book). It therefore seems
>>> appropriate to refer to this as being a moribund expression.
>>> Benjamin Barrett
>>> Seattle, WA
> ~~~~~~~~~~~
> What is the cut-off point for "archaic?"  I find it a little
> disconcerting that expressions current during my lifetime can be
> considered archaic.  Anyway, back to the "quick" thread: "quickening"
> was still alive & well as the term for the moment a pregnant woman
> begins to feel the movements of the fetus within her, as recently as
> the late '50s. Is there now another term for this? (The New Oxford
> American Dictionary says "quickening" in this sense is "archaic.")
> AM

My Mac dictionary says this of "archaic":
(of a word or a style of language) no longer in everyday use but sometimes used to impart an old-fashioned flavor.


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