[Ads-l] Heard: _for days_, an intensifier

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 21 15:47:22 EDT 2016

The UD has it from 2005. I've been familiar with it since ca. 1965.
Naturally, there's no telling when slang is going to appear in print. E.g.,
while searching HDAS for the phrase - with Jon, youneverknow - I came
across the GI nickname for Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, "Fort
Lost-In-The-Woods," dated only to 1974. Given that the post is reputed to
have been carved out of the Mark Twain National Forest, it may well have
acquired that nickname as far back as 1940 and it certainly had it by 1950,
when the "big boys" of my childhood were reaching draft age. And, when the
slang is a phrase non-distinct from the same phrase in the standard
language, dating is a real problem for an amateur like me.

So, I picked a common turn of phrase in which _for days_ is used, Googled
that in the 20th C., and got one hit:

Richie Rich – Niggaz Done Changed | Lyrics | Genius Lyrics
genius.com › R › Richie Rich
Jan 1, 1996 - "In the same way, God bless my brain, 'cause game pays.
Gettin' cash and _ass for days_. Now niggas [sic] done changed [Hook:
Richie Rich & 2Pac] The game is to be sold, not told. Still heavy in this
game. Niggas [sic] done changed, it ain't the same."

Naturally, that led me to:

Flash on the Hustler - Page 39
Red Jordan Arobateau - 1975
"It was all in my best interests you understand... this.. tri-billionaire
-- with his _money for days_, wanted to educate me to the element of work.
He felt responsible."

My impression is that it takes about ten years for pre-rap/hip-hop slang to
become available in print. So, there may not be any examples earlier than
this 1975 cite.

_For days_ can be used alone, since it's merely an intensifier, with no
inherent meaning of its own, pace the UD:

A. Jon Lighter is interested in slang?
B. For days!
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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