"hook up with"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Jan 17 05:05:40 UTC 2013

I thought the Dear Margo quotation was merely
amusing, for a foam club with another
section.  But apparently the pros consider it as significant and meaningful.

Considering that the late 1980s speakers Larry
reported had to duplicate the phrase, with added
emphasis or de-emphasis of the first or second
occurrence, in order to make themselves -- or try
to make themselves -- explicit, I wonder how
anyone will be able to determine when "romantic"
expanded to "sexual" (to use the terms in the
OED's Draft Additions December 2005).  Are the
OED's 1903 and 1950 quotations sexual, or merely romantic?
1903   G. Ade People you Know 69   Then he hooked
up with Laura so as to get a real Home.
1950   Gaz. & Bull. (Williamsport, Pa.)
(Electronic text) 9 June,   If I weren't married
to Miss Mary and didn't love Miss Mary, I would
try to hook up with either of them.

Does the apparent incompatibility of marriage and
love with hooking up imply the 1950 quotation is about sex?

How about the 1989?
1989   S. Forward Toxic Parents ii. xiii.
254,   I keep hooking up with these cold, unresponsive guys.

Does "cold, unresponsive" refer to (lack of
interest in) romance or sex? If so, does it belong here at all?

Does the OED need to -- or can it? -- separate
romantic and sexual into two senses, with quotations for each?


At 1/16/2013 07:42 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>OK, now I do have access to my HDAS II, and I
>see that Jon's first specifically sexual cite
>for _hook up (with)_ = 'become amorously
>involved with a person
for at least the duration
>of the evening
"Did you hook up with Debbie last
>night?"' is provided (with that gloss) in the
>1988 edition of Connie Eble's _Campus
>Slang_.  I'm pretty sure it was around before
>then at Yale and probably elsewhere, although
>the exact nature (or degree) of the activities
>engaged in between the amorous involver/involvee
>pair can sometimes be
>underspecified.  Which is where the clones below
>come in handy.  Unfortunately I would need to
>find my students' word journals from the late
>1980s to confirm how early this had popped up
>around here, and they're buried under decades of
>detritus.  (Nominalized _hook-up_ with the
>relevant meaning is first attested in HDAS in
>Terri McMillan's 1987 _Breaking Ice_.)
>Interestingly, it seems as if the "innocent"
>meaning of _hook up_ survives for now alongside
>the value-added one, but perhaps this won't
>last, given the force of taboo avoidance; cf.
>the history of "make love" or Fr. "baiser" (v.)
>On Jan 16, 2013, at 4:32 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> > 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!
> >
> >
> > LH
> >
> > 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

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

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