the thing of it is...

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 13 21:13:34 UTC 2010

Are you familiar with the variant, "The thing about it is...," common
in East TX since at least the '30's? My last living aunt, born 1917,
has been using this variant for as long as I've been able to
understand English.


On Thu, May 13, 2010 at 3:56 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      the thing of it is...
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> How old is this expression? I've always associated it with my teenage years
> in the sixties, so I was surprised recently to find Eloise, the sassy young
> heroine of Kay Thompson's 1955 classic children's book (illustrated by
> Hilary Knight), saying "The thing of it is..."
> It's the title of a 1967 novel by William Goldman (
> It's not in OED Online.
> m a m
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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.
–Mark Twain

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