"You want punched out?"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 25 16:54:15 UTC 2011

I want a nice Hawaiian punch.


On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 11:59 AM, Ben Zimmer
<bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      "You want punched out?"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The much-watched special election in New York's 26th congressional
> district (northeastern suburbs of Buffalo + western suburbs of
> Rochester) had a dialectal wrinkle to it. A couple of weeks ago, Jack
> Davis, the third-party spoiler running on the Tea Party line, was
> confronted by the chief of staff of the Republican candidate, Jane
> Corwin, outside a veteran's event. The video of the confrontation
> included Jack Davis saying, "You want punched out?"
> http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/tea-party-candidate-jack-davis-to-gop-tracker-you-want-punched-out-video.php
> I presume this is related to the "needs washed" construction.
> According to Davis's campaign bio <http://www.jackdavis.org/about/>,
> his family moved from Pittsburgh to Buffalo when he was a child. I
> know "needs washed" is common in the Pittsburgh dialect region, but I
> wasn't sure about Buffalo. This Linguist List post suggests it's found
> in Buffalo as well, at least among transplants from the Midland:
> ---
> http://linguistlist.org/issues/2/2-885.html#3
> Date: Sun, 15 Dec 1991 23:08 EST
> From: <BRANDM at ACFcluster.NYU.EDU>
> Subject: Re: 2.866 Responses: Language & Culture, Washed, No way
> I am an originally a native speaker of a "needs washed" dialect. Even
> though I
> have lived in the NY and Boston areas since age 13, I never realized
> the form was not used by those around me until someone commented on it.
> Until age 13 I lived in the Akron area of Ohio. My parents are natives of
> the
> Akron and Columbus areas.
> The form has always been interesting to me both in terms of its origin and
> its
> structure. In recent years I have often remarked on the frequency of its
> occurence among speakers of the dialects that use it. Among them I have
> encountered a native of Buffalo (which led me to theorize that such usage
> was
> spread via Lake Erie), and a Scot from Glasgow. The native of Buffalo had
> lived much of her childhood in West Virginia however. [..]
> ---
> --bgz
> --
> Ben Zimmer
> http://benzimmer.com/
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list