[Ads-l] NYT: "... got hold of it."

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 15 03:18:17 UTC 2015

This phrase induced the belated flash of insight that those of us who use
"aloose," as well as "around," also use "ahold."

Oddly, my spell-check refuses to accept "aloose," but it's cool with
"ahold." Is it the case that the dictionaries of record don't recognize
"aloose" as a "real word"?

GB, which is also unhappy with "aloose," reveals that "give aloose to" -
possibly only a variant of "give a loose to," or not - which meant
something like "give in to, succumb to," was once a common expression. But
"aloose" as a variant of "loose" seems not to show up till Joel Chandler
Harris began to write, in the late 19th C.

1700  I will indulge the Woman in my Soul [i.e. punk out]
And _give a loose to_ Tears, and to Impatience;

1702  Thus could He talk ofLove,andLoversDeeds,
Yet give aLoose toRage,and manlyRage succeeds.
[Spelling and punctuation follow original]

1724    If the sovereign _gave himself aloose_, it could not be expected
the rest of the court should be all saints

1766    When once _aloose is given_ to the desire of superfluities, we know
no end.

1907 Texas    If you are not going to _turn me aloose_, then I want my
money back.

2015 Texas    And then he told me to _take aloose my blouse_.
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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