[Ads-l] Phrase: take the mickey out of (May 28, 1923; antedates OED)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 12 03:53:50 UTC 2018

The OED has "to take the mickey (out of): to behave or speak
satirically or mockingly; to make fun of, satirize, or debunk (a
person or thing)." The first OED citation is dated 1948.

The OED also has "to take the piss (out of): to make fun (of), to
mock, deride, satirize; = to take the mickey (out of) at mickey." The
first OED citation is dated 1945.

Below is pertinent citation for "take the mickey out of" in a London
newspaper in 1923.

Date: May 28, 1923
Newspaper: Daily Herald
Newspaper Location: London, England
Article: Runs Risk for Girl
Quote Page 7, Column 5
Database: British Newspaper Archive

[Begin excerpt; double-check for errors]
Dangerous Driving Charge Sequel to Taunt

"It's like this—a man in a motor-car
was trying to take the 'mickey' out of
me, and I just opened to take him down.
He turned round and laughed at me as he
passed, and the girl the back of my bike
said, 'I shouldn't stand that,' I shot
ahead of him." This was the excuse of
Clifford Smith, baker, Uppingham-road,
Leicester, when charged with dangerous
driving at the Leicester court.

For "shooting ahead" he was ordered
to pay £3 and his licence was endorsed.
[End excerpt]


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

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