[Ads-l] 'sploding heads

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 3 18:33:08 UTC 2016

On Sun, Jul 3, 2016 at 9:15 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> Thinking cap?

Extracted from "put on your thinking-caps," routinely used, at one time, to
warn pupils that there was about to be a test or to warn quiz-show
participants that a hard question was coming.

The full, derived slang-phrase is "to have an inkling in the back of one's

Y'all ain' know dis?!

 I've never been able to decide whether "thinking-cap" here still refers to
the metaphorical "actual" thinking-cap that you "put on" or whether "in the
back of one's thinking cap" > "in (the back of one's) mind."
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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