antedating tit (and other things) (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Tue Nov 6 21:56:40 UTC 2012

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

All of these cites are from HathiTrust

OED has "tit" (=mammary gland) only back to 1928 (although it has "teat"
almost a millennium before that).

I. [Isaac] Pocock _Yes or No?  A Musical Farce, in Two Acts_ London:  J.
Barker, 1809
p. 37
"With spirits gay I mount the box, the tits up to their traces,
My elbows squar'd, my wrist turn'd down, dash off to Epsom races."

_American Railroad Journal, and Advocate of Internal Improvements_ vol 2
#3, Jun 8, 1833 p. 362 col 2
"By the way, there were then in France a number of what was termed
voitures de chasse, hunting carriages, very fancifully constructed,
resembling our caravans, and having sometimes a stag's head and fore
quarters in front; over which a coachman, all gold or silver lace, and
his hair highly dressed, used to take his seat, driving either
four-in-hand, the horses all too far from their work, the leaders with
very long traces, seldom tight, (for these dressy coachmen did not know
now to keep the tits up to their traces,) or with four horses, the
leaders having a postillion with cocked hat and jack boots."

Marion Hughes _[Three years in Arkansaw]_ Chicago:  M. A. Donohue & Co.,
p. 72 "Instead of the stovepipe being in her way it served as a corset,
and held her tits up out of the way, and she was out of sight in the
woods before you could say suey!"

"tango uniform" [= TU in military alphabet, acronym for "tits up"]  [not
it OED]

_Approach_ Jul 1977 p 27 col 1
"The Gremlin that made 303's TACAN go "Tango-Uniform" must have held
enroute because, a few minutes later, the azimuth and DME in 305 also

_Combat Crew_ vol 30 no 5, May 1980 p 16 col 1
"If the pilot can reliably make the entry, the navs can fix a radar set
that just went tango uniform (totally unusable)."

_Approach_ vol 35 no 9 Mar 1990, p. 15 col 2
"However, his basic flight intstruments went "tango uniform" and the
airmanship he demonstrated in getting back earned him the Air Medal."

_Flying Safety_ vol 51 no 1, Jan 1995 p 3 col 1
"Maybe my subconscious mind interpreted/misinterpreted the HUD attitude
faster than my conscious mind, and when the attitude didn't match up
with what the subconscious thought it ought to be, my somatosensory
system went Tango Uniform."

"tough titty" [OED has "tough tiddy" from 1934, under entry for "tough"]

_Harvard College Class of 1906 Fifteenth Anniversary Report (No. 4)_
Cambridge, MA: University Press, 1921.  p. 83
"Having suffered more from the War than most Americans, as I'd been in
it and had friends lost in it and knew how rotten the Huns were, it was
pretty tough titty to have to go about wearing civilian clothes and walk
the streets looking the picture of health."

"Fixing to" -- not in OED
Kermit Daugherty _Out of the Red Brush_  Cleveland and NY: World
Publishing Co., 1954
p. 11 "We took it perty much as a joke an it never crossed our minds how
that contraption was fixin to turn our little world upside down."

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The American Dialect Society -

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