[Ads-l] Random miscellany: _scream on_

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 22 19:02:19 UTC 2016

Occasionally, a blast from my slang past pops into my head. In this case,
it was _scream on_, once an extremely-hip term in 1950's Saint Louis.

Unfortunately, the only way to know whether this is in HDAS is to go to the
source and ask Jon to check. However, it is in Green's:

"scream on (v.)

1. [1960s–70s] (US black) to betray a confidence, to inform against, to
gossip about.
2. [1960s+] (mainly US black) to attack verbally."

On the basis of personal experience, FWIW, I find these definitions to be
exact, the phrase already being used with all of these meanings by ca.

One evening ca. 1965, Myron Cohen was on TV telling a story about annoying
his wife to the point that she "screamed on" him about what he was doing.
Needless to say, I was really caught off guard.

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list