[Ads-l] Phrase: hipped on the subject

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 9 19:43:54 UTC 2016

JL's Random House Dictionary of American Slang has valuable
information about "hip" and "hipped". This post is narrowly focused on
the phrase "hipped on the subject".

JL has an entry for an adjectival sense of "hipped":

[Begin excerpt]
hipped 3 adj. 1. infatuated (with); enthusiastic, excited, or fanatic
(about).--usu. constr. with on.

1895 Wood Yale Yarns 262: It's because you are so hipped on a girl you
think you see one behind every bush! 1910 Everybody's Mag. (May) 592:
He...got a drag with our Old Man who was always hipped on helping
along "ambition."
[End excerpt]

JL also listed another sense for "hipped"

[Begin excerpt]
2. a. aware (of); informed (about).--constr. with on.

1920 F.S. Fitzgerald Paradise 238: Oh, just one person in fifty has
any glimmer of what sex is. I'm hipped on Freud and all that, but it's
rotten that every bit of real love in the world is ninety-nine per
cent passion and one little soupcon of jealousy.
[End excerpt]

The phrase "hipped on the subject" seems to mean "obsessed with the
subject" or "very interested in the subject". Some early citations
have a connotation of hypochondria. Also, some later citations suggest
a transition of the sense to "very knowledgeable about the subject".
Please note that I am not a linguist.

Year: 1856
Title: The Queen V. Palmer: Verbatim Report of the Trial of William
Palmer at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, London, May 14, and
Following Days, 1856, Before Lord Campbell, Mr. Justice Cresswell, and
Mr. Baron Alderson
Authors         William Palmer, Angelo Bennett
Publisher: J. Allen, London
Section: Second Day, May 15, 1856
Quote Page 71
Database: Google Books Full View

[Begin excerpt]
No; I think he had a little more sense than that; he would have his
throat cauterised by any one he might be with, I mean any medical man;
he was hipped on the subject of his throat.--I understand you to say
his throat was not quite well; his tonsils were not quite well the
last time you saw him?
[End excerpt]

Date: November 1895
Journal: The Pittsburgh Medical Review
Volume 9
Article: The Diseases of the Male Urethra
Start Page 323, Quote Page 328
Database: Google Books Full View

[Begin excerpt]
A patient in such a condition is liable to become hipped on the
subject, and is in a most unenviable condition of mind over a
pathological state of his urethra, which exists only in his own
disordered imagination.
[End excerpt]

Date: May-June 1905
Journal: Mind
Volume 15, Numbers 5 and 6
Article: In the Astral Light
Author: Penelope Palmer
Start Page 477, Quote Page 479
Database: Google Books Full View

[Begin excerpt]
"Lady Macrae is very delicate," she explained--"has an extremely
nervous temperament. In fact, she's a trifle hipped on the subject of
the Stuarts; there is some family tradition about their connection
with them. The Macraes, it seems, fought their battles--and hanged for
them too, I believe.
[End excerpt]

Date: October 1910
Journal: Industrial Engineering and the Engineering Digest
Section: Correspondence
Letter Title: "Hipped" on Motion Study
Latter Author and Date: H. L. Grant on Oct 1, 1910
Start Page 307, Quote Page 308

[Begin excerpt]
On the other hand, the man who becomes interested in making this kind
of a study, will, if he has the right kind of mind, become so
fascinated by it that it is on his mind almost all the time. This has
been so much the case with Mr. Gilbreth that one of his friends, to
whom he was describing the results that could be obtained, and who was
somewhat skeptical, replied: "Gilbreth, you are hipped on this
subject"; to which Mr. Gilbreth at once retorted: "Of course, I am
hipped on the subject, and if you knew as much about it as I do, you
would be hipped too."
[End excerpt]

Date: February 1914
Journal: The Cosmopolitan
Volume 56
Article: The Auction Block
Author: Rex Beach
Start Page 299, Quote Page 312
Database: Google Books Full View

[Begin excerpt]
His collection of Napoleana is the finest in this country; he is an
authority on French history of that period--in fact, he's as nearly
hipped on the subject as a man of his powers can be considered hipped
on anything.
[End excerpt]


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