Again recalling my lost youth,

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 4 23:23:56 UTC 2014

_false face_ was, so to speak, the "standard," as it were, BE term for
"Hallowe'en mask." AFAIK, this term may still be used, somewheh nutha, but
I doubt it, since DARE doesn't have it.

On TV cop-operas, the police often use, e.g. "He's in the wind" as jargon
for "He's nowhere to be found" et sim. In '50's StL, we used "get into the
wind" as a just-as-neutral-but-way-hipper replacement of "leave," pretty
much only intentionally and only in the 1st person.: "I'm gon' (t') / I
goss t' get (my ass) inta the win'." We didn't use the simple "in the

OT: While checking HDAS - because youneverknow - I was surprised to see,
under "falsie," that, During The War, a mere 32 falsied to 34 was enough to
permit a young woman to aspire to the position of chorine.

On TV, I heard something along the lines of

"... go to a motel to _do the thing_"

such that the context made clear that "do the thing" = "engage in
recreational sex." Back in StL, "do the thing" = "get married."

HDAS has "get hat" from a July, 1966. Sat. Eve. Post cite that ascribes its
use to "cavalrymen." whatever is meant by that. I first heard it in Germany
in January of 1961, used by black infantrymen. I assume that it was new, at
the time. When someone said to his buddy, "Let's get hat," one of the
(German) b-girls asked, "What does that mean? You are leaving?" - auf
Englisch, natuerlich - causing me to infer that it was new to her. If the
phrase had already been in common use in that place at that time, then she
would already have been familiar with it. B-girling in GI bars in West
Germany was more than a job. It was a career!

The "hat up" version I heard some random time later - IMO, "get hat" is the
cooler and the goner phrase, so I didn't my first hearing of the
alternative memorable - but so soon after that I wouldn't claim that "get
hat" was older than "hat up" in fact as well as in my personal experience.
By November of '61, I had already heard "hat up" used in Amsterdam by Dutch
people speaking in English. A GI loud-talked about the fact that the locals
were speaking only in Dutch, even though they were hanging with the bruz.
Someone replied, "You want to hear English? Here's some: 'Hat up, farmer!'"
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 -

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