[Ads-l] "go all to smash", '20s slang?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 9 10:33:16 UTC 2015

I've been reading and heard "go to smash" in literary and formal contexts
all my life - not often, mind you, but often enough.

In slangy contexts? Maybe never.


On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 8:42 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at mst.edu>

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> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at MST.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "go all to smash", '20s slang?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Cf. "put all to smash" in a poem ca. 1830, drawn to ads-l attention a while
> back by Stephen Goranson. The poem is titled "Penal Servitude," and
> Goranso=
> n
> posted it as part of his excellent research on "kibosh." The relevant
> verse=
>  says:
> "There is one little dodge I am thinking,/That would put your profession
> al=
> l to smash,/
> It would put on the kibosh like winking,/That is, if they was to introduce
> =
> the lash."
> G. Cohen
>  =
> _____________________=
> ___________________
>  Joel Berson wrote, Tuesday, September 08, 2015 7:43 AM:
> I thank modern technology and TCM for permitting me to re-view this film
> an=
> d capture the source citation.
> "Don't be surprised if I go all to smash on your hands -- I'm not
> responsib=
> le when I'm listening to wonderful music."
> 1923. "Flaming Youth", intertitle, about five to seven minutes into the
>  only surviving reel. In "Fragments: Surviving Pieces of Lost Films",
>  2011. (Both are in IMDb.) Spoken by Colleen Moore, playing a
>  young woman endeavoring to (and apparently succeeding in) enamoring=20
> an older man, who (again apparently) had been romantically associated with=
> =20
> her mother.
> '20s slang? Not a bit, I'm intrigued to learn. Smash, n.1, 2.b.
> , "A shivered or broken-up condition. Chiefly in phrases to break, knock
> et=
> c.,=20
> or go, to smash. Also used fig." First literal appearance (in OED2)=20
> 1798; first figurative appearance 1807.
> Joel=
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