Swapped "tease" and "spoil"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 20 22:40:29 UTC 2013

The Usenet pro-wrestling discussion group has some earlier uses of "teased".
Apparently, sometimes "teased" means "foreshadowed", and sometimes it
means "hinted at the possibility of". That's my analysis as a

From: hek... at jeeves.waterloo.edu (Herb Kunze)
Subject: Wrestling TidBits   -   05/07
Sender: ne... at watdragon.waterloo.edu (USENET News System)
Date: Thu, 7 May 1992 14:04:08 GMT

[Begin excerpt]
Dump and Bull were regular tag team partners at this time and when
the match finally got underway, they hedged about working against
each other to tease the crowd a bit.  Eventually, they went crazy
on each other, and at the end teased the break-up before getting
back together.  Commentary is in English.
[End excerpt]

The phrase "they teased an Austin DQ" seems to mean they hinted at the
possibility of an Austin disqualification, I guess.

From: rrus... at nyx10.cs.du.edu (Bob Rusbasan)
Newsgroups: rec.sport.pro-wrestling
Subject: WCW Bash at the Beach
Date: 18 Jul 1994 15:53:11 -0600

[Begin excerpt]
This match moved at a very quick pace.  After a lot of hot action,
they teased an Austin DQ.  Steamboat begged the ref to allow the
match to continue, which seemed to foreshadow a title change, but
then out of nowhere Austin reversed a cross-body block and pinned
Steamboat, with a little help from the ropes.
[End excerpt]

Below the word "teased" in "they teased the ending" might mean
"foreshadowed". It might mean the ending of the match was extended to
excite the audience.

From: mdme... at undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca (Chewbacca)
Subject: Re: WCW Bash at the Beach
Sender: ne... at undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca (news spool owner)
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 1994 23:54:40 GMT

[Begin excerpt]
I will admit that they teased the ending quite good. Several times
in fact. That facet of the match was what I gave my **3/4 or *** (I
haven't decided yet) for. It was a well constructed match, story-wise.
Too bad the wrestling couldn't have been better. Not stupendous or
amazing, just better.
[End excerpt]

On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 3:04 PM, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at ameritech.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Neal Whitman <nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET>
> Subject:      Swapped "tease" and "spoil"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I've begun noticing  uses of transitive "tease" and "spoil" in
> entertainment contexts in which the patient is not the event participant
> I'm expecting. For example, Iexpect "tease" to have viewers, readers, or
> other consumers fill the patient role, with the movie, book, videogame,
> etc. as an oblique object, as in "They teased the audience with a scene
> from the upcoming release." However, you can find examples like these now:
>     _The Avengers_ was teased at the end of _Captain America_.
>     http://www.coronacomingattractions.com/news/exclusive-assembling-avengers-part-1
> Similarly, I expect the patient of "spoil" to be the themovie, book,
> video game, etc., and the consumer to be an oblique object: "You spoiled
> the ending for me!" But now you can find sentences like:
>     I personally can't stand spoilers. ... There are entire websites
>     that I have stopped visiting because they unexpectedly *spoiled* me
>     one too many times.
>     http://screenrant.com/spoilers-spoiler-brusimm-6207/
> My earliest datings for each use:
> tease, May 1995
>     "The Informer" *teased* the return of a "mystery man" absent from
>     the WWF for roughly a decade.... He also *teased* the appearance of
>     a "familiar face" who would be making his WWF debut.... (May 1995)
>     https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/rec.sport.pro-wrestling/cjQ-X3ivfdM
> spoil, April 1996
>     <https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#%21topic/rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5/uW3o_BOzYbM>Goodness
>     gracious.....this is one of best episodes I ever  seen. Even when I
>     *got spoiled*, I stilled loved it. Wow... (April 1996)**
>     https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!topic/rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5/uW3o_BOzYbM
>     <https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#%21topic/rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5/uW3o_BOzYbM>
> In addition, I found an antedating for advertising-related "teaser" (OED
> 1934):
>     Later, on November 17th, after much advertising of a "teaser" kind,
>     the Club was confronted with the whole Toledo Advertising Club as
>     our entertainer.
>     /The Rotarian, /January 1917, p. 80.
>     http://books.google.com/books?id=UlgEAAAAMBAJ
> I've written about this at Visual Thesaurus(by
> subscription):*//****//*http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/dictionary/teased-and-spoiled/
> Neal
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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