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

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 21 23:06:39 EDT 2016

On Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 10:45 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 4:53 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
> > also days!
> What does that mean? That people say, "also days!", or that people also
> say, "days!"

The latter. Here are the cites for sense 2.

1968 [US] ‘Sl. of Watts’ in _Current Sl._ III:2 24: _For days_, adv. The
1971 [US] H.E. Roberts _Third Ear_ n.p.: _for days_ an expression
indicating extremes; e.g. I’ve known her for days (I’ve known her for a
very long time); he was fine for days (he was a very good-looking boy).
1972 [US] B. Rodgers _Queens’ Vernacular_ 60: _days_ (exclam) affirmative,
translated to mean you said it!
1978 [US] A. Maupin _Tales of the City_ (1984) 161: It’s the bathroom
cabinet [...] face creams and shampoos for days.
1980 [US] E. Folb _Runnin’ Down Some Lines_ 237: _for days_ 1. Indicates
extended period of time or great degree (‘That dude was loaded for days!’).
2. Indicates a sense of the ultimate (‘That chick is foxy for days!’).
2002 [US] ‘Touré’ _Portable Promised Land_ (ms.) 185: Six foot one with
tight cornrows and curves for days.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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