HDAS negative "good thing."

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 13 06:39:38 UTC 2014

_Und._ a person who may be easily or profitably ... exploited,

with cites only from 1907 and 1984.

"You let people use you for a natural good thing!" was one of my mother's
favorite imprecations. That "good thing" clearly was intended to be a
straight-up insult, not sarcasm or irony, was always a source of confusion,
since I knew the term otherwise only with its expected positive meaning and
she was the only person that I've heard use it negatively and I've never
seen it used negatively in print.

IAC, Mom's language was just old-fashioned and not just plain crazy,

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

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