"put on"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 17 04:59:27 UTC 2014

To fool, kid, deceive.
You must be putting me on.
She's putting on that she's sicker than she really is.

To assume, adopt or affect; to behave in a particular way as a pretense.
Why are you putting on that silly voice?
He's just putting on that limp -- his leg's actually fine.


When I was but a tad, back home in Texas, _put on_ was used in these cases,
but with the exceptions that

*put someone on


*put on NP

didn't exist. The corresponding forms are

You must be putting on.
She's putting on.
Why are you putting on?
He's just putting on.

OTOH, Sam "Lightning" Hopkins, likewise a native Texan, uses the phrase,

Crying and putting on

in a case in which the standard is, obviously,

Crying and going on.

Further deponent sayeth not.

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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