"hook up with" in England ...

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 16 21:32:50 UTC 2013

And I recall one of my undergraduates (male, African-American, not that either is clearly relevant), responding to a problem set query in the late 1980s soliciting real life instances of lexical clones ("No, I wanted a SALAD salad"), reproducing this witnessed exchange:

A:  Did you hook up?
B:  Yeah, we hooked up.
A:  Did you hook UP hook up?
B: No, we just hooked up hooked up.

Somewhat later, there was this exchange on a television dramedy:

A:  “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you slept with Logan. I thought you two just messed around.”
B:  “No, you said YOU just messed around with him. I said that he and I hooked up.  I meant hooked UP hooked up.”
A:  “I thought you meant JUST hooked up, like messed around.”

—dialogue among bridesmaids on Gilmore Girls 3/1/06

Wonderful language we've got!


P.S.  It just occurred to me that Rory Gilmore, who as I recall was A in the second exchange above, attended Yale.  Coincidence?  You decide.

On Jan 16, 2013, at 2:59 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 1:36 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
>> Not originating there, though, as far as I know.  The "hooking up with" part, I mean--for all I know, the foam part of may indeed be unique to Old Blighty (and perhaps explains the Stiff Upper Lip).  The OED entry, at Draft additions December 2005--
>> to hook up
>> orig. and chiefly U.S. Cf. sense 4e.
>> 1. intr. To get married or become involved in a romantic relationship; to engage in sexual activity. Usu. with with.
>> --doesn't include British entries, FWIW, and I don't have my HDAS H-O on me at the moment, but I would hazard a guess that the sexually enriched (but foamless) "hook up with" sense is U.S. in origin.  It is just a guess, though.
> A foamed nightclub was featured on CSI in 2003 in the episode, "Lady
> Heather's Box." Likewise, _hook up with_ "have sex with" precedes even
> that. I was on the losing end of a discussion here of precisely that
> meaning as an extension of the older, if not the original, meaning of
> "hook(-)up," "connect with someone via cellphone, the cellphone
> itself," as exemplified by the plot of the 1998 neo-blaxploitation
> movie, I GOT THE HOOK-UP. According to the Christian Movie Guide, this
> was "… a rank, distasteful, obscenity-laden story of two swindling
> businessmen who inadvertently pull down an urban drug-dealer,
> following in the gutter of other black-protagonist, foul comedies such
> OTOH, IMO, all three were quite entertaining, though somewhat overly
> farcical, at times.
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> 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
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list