"not so much" 'no'

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Wed May 26 04:25:09 UTC 2010

>any record of this use elsewhere?  (i don't recall having heard it
>before, which is what made me notice it, but i just might not have
>noticed earlier occurrences.)

I've heard it in assorted places, sometimes for "no" and sometimes
for "not really." The first place I noticed it was in the movie _21_
(2008), about the MIT blackjack team (heavily fictionalized), where
the male protagonist tries to kiss a girl he's big on and thinks is
equally big on him, and she turns her head and says, "Not so much."
Which is not quite a flat-out negative, but I have encountered the
usage elsewhere since meaning "no" (up to and including "hell will
freeze over first"), including in casual conversation with friends
and colleagues.

I don't watch a lot of TV, so I'm probably late to the game on this one.

James Harbeck.

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

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