[Ads-l] piss-burned

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 31 20:59:16 UTC 2016

"HDAS III" has a 1927 US ex. ("piss-burnt") = 'auburn.'



On Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 11:53 AM, George Thompson <george.thompson at nyu.edu>

> This make a start at filling a gap in the OED's entry on this very useful
> word, and establishes an early U. S. provenance.
> A man who had escaped from Debtors' Prison described:
> "Lawton is a Man about 5 Feet 7 Inches high, wears a Piss-burn'd Wig, is
> very talkative, pitted with the Small Pox, and a Native of Ireland"
> N-Y Journal; or, the General Advertiser, March 8, 1770, p. 3, col. 3
> piss-burnt adj. (also *piss-burned*) now chiefly *U.S.**regional*
> discoloured
> or damaged by or as by urine (also *fig.* and in extended use); (in later
> use sometimes) *spec.*of a yellowish- or reddish-brown colour.
> 1565    *King Daryus* sig. Cii,   Gyt thee away thou pys burnde Cokolde.
> 1687    A. Behn *Luckey Chance*  ii. i. 18   This old Campaign..a Cloak to
> sculk in a-Nights, and a pair of Piss-burn'd shammy Breeches.
> 1699    E. Ward *London Spy* I.  iii. 3   After redeeming our Liberties
> from this Piss-burn'd Prison [*sc.* Bedlam].
> 1742    H. Fielding *Joseph Andrews* II.  iii. xi. 158   A Piss-burnt
> Beard.
> 1877    E. Peacock *Gloss. Words Manley & Corringham, Lincs.* 194
> *Piss-burnt*, said of the hair of an animal bleached by the sun.
> 1994    A. Theroux *Primary Colors* 233   It is more often than not,
> usually a sort of rust or piss-burnt auburn or wiry orange.
> --
> George A. Thompson
> The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
> Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
> Univ. Pr., 1998..
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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