Again recalling my lost youth,

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 5 01:18:15 UTC 2014

Another disillusionment coming:

My grandmother (born in NYC in 1880s) *also* used "false face" (stress on
"false") as her ordinary word for "Halloween mask." (If she used the latter
at all, she probably picked it up from me and my little friends.)

Thanks for the all-new, circumstantial "hat" info, however!

The '66 SEP "cavalrymen" undoubtedly refers to the First Cav in VN.


On Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 7:23 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Again recalling my lost youth,
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> _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
> wind."
> 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!'"
> --
> -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
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