[Ads-l] _shlong_ and the collective etymological unconscious

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Dec 29 11:17:56 EST 2016


Bearing in mind the history touched in the Altoona and OED references reprinted below from our earlier thread, consider this passage from a 2016 novel by Carl Hiaasen, _Razor Girl_.  Detective Rogelio Burton is teasing our hero (and his ex-partner, now busted down to roach patrol inspector) Andrew Yancy about the latter’s girlfriend, Miami E.R. physician Rosa Campesino, who has just left for an indefinite period of R&R in Sweden:

   “Who leaves Florida for Sweden in the dead of winter? Somebody who’s dumping a boyfriend, that’s who.”
   “I got a bad feeling, Rog.”
   “When she sends you the first picture, what you want is a selfie.”
   “Suggesting she’s alone”, Yancy said.
   “Right, because if it’s not a selfie, that means somebody else took the photo…Her new ski instructor, for example. Six two, long blond hair and a shlong like a cobra.”
   “I’m glad you find this amusing."

LH


> On Dec 21, 2016, at 11:21 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> 
> And as the OED notes (and I’m sure HDAS would have), the ‘membrum virile’ sense of “s(c)hlong” is itself a metaphorical extension (well, I’m folding that part in) of the German cognate of the Dutch word referenced in the Altoona piece:
> 
> < Yiddish shlang, < Middle High German slange (German Schlange) serpent 
> 
> LH
> 
>> On Dec 21, 2016, at 10:39 AM, Baker, John <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM> wrote:
>> 
>> The messy stunt meaning of "schlong" can be antedated to 1951 by a UP article, which was in the Baytown (Tex.) Sun (Oct. 4, 1951), and also other newspapers.  The article discusses the language of television and also has some other antedatings, which I will write about in a separate post.
>> 
>> "Schlong - An expression originated by quiz show Producers Bill Todman and Mark Goodson to describe acts involving pie throwing, squirting whipped cream into faces or anything generally regarded as messy."  
>> 
>> A different meaning of "schlong" is given in an article in the Altoona (Pa.) Tribune (Dec. 11, 1946), describing an event in 1825 in which an Indian was pursued by a posse and hid in a cave full of snakes.  The posse was scared of the snakes, and the harmless Indian subsequently escaped.
>> 
>> "As they drew near he began to hiss as loud as a hundred snakes, and the real "schlongs" as the old Dutch people called them, joined in the chorus.  No one would venture in; it was "Dutch bluster" to kill a poor old, tottery Indian, who had done no worse than to be General Harry L. Bouquet's mess-boy or cook but to lie on one's belly and go in head first to a serpentine mass-meeting was different; louder and louder hissed the snakes, and if any courage had existed among the posse it "oozed out of their feet."
>> 
>> 
>> John Baker
>> 
>> 


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