"Punch in the neck"

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Mon May 26 16:56:51 UTC 2014

On 5/26/14, 12:00 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
> Date:    Sun, 25 May 2014 15:10:24 -0500
> From:    Jim Parish<jparish at SIUE.EDU>
> Subject: "Punch in the neck"
> In my youth, the favored expression of (mock-)serious violence involved
> a threat to punch someone in the*nose*. Lately, though, it seems as
> though the*neck*  is now the favorite target. Does anyone know anything
> about this change - when, where, why? It seems very recent to me, but of
> course the Illusion of Recency needs to be guarded against. (Why the
> *neck*? Surely the nose is a much more reachable and - when struck -
> satisfying target?)
> Jim Parish
I've seen it as "punch in the throat", so as to crush the windpipe. This
is much more vicious than punching in the nose, and so expresses a
higher level of anger, vitriol, etc.

---Amy West

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

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