"hook up with" in England ...

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Thu Jan 17 13:32:50 UTC 2013

On 1/17/13 12:00 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
> Date:    Wed, 16 Jan 2013 13:36:03 -0500
> From:    Laurence Horn<laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject: Re: "hook up with" in England ...
> On Jan 16, 2013, at 1:24 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> >but uttered by an American.
>> >
>> >" I visit my cousins in England every summer ... On my last night
>> >there [somewhere in England, last summer], we went to a club where
>> >foam was coming out of vents, and we all went into the foam and
>> >danced. He [the subject's cousin's boyfriend's best friend] started
>> >touching me, and we went to another section and hooked up. Then he
>> >said, 'Can this be our little secret?' I asked why, and he said,
>> >'Well, because I have a girlfriend.' "
>> >
>> >I suppose I shouldn't be surprised about what can happen in another
>> >section of a club with foam somewhere in England.
>> >
>> > From "Dear Margo," Boston Globe, Nov. 6, 2012.
>> >
>> >Joel
>> >
>> >------------------------------------------------------------
>> >The American Dialect Society -http://www.americandialect.org
> 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.
> LH
I don't think this counts as a British instance of use of the phrase: as
Joel points out it's an American writer and an American publication and
an American audience. While the act occurred in England, that's not
relevant to the label applied to it.

I once heard "wicked" used as an intensifier in a Mystery episode,
spoken by an English actor/character, but the writer of the series is
American, so I discounted it.

I first heard of foam parties 20+ years ago in Spain, so no, they're not
unique to England. I never understood them. But now I see why they might
be so popular. All I can say is "ewww." I thought peeing in the pool was
bad enough. . . .

---Amy West

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

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