[Ads-l] Drag

Wed Nov 14 20:31:58 UTC 2018

An article posted yesterday on Vox, https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/11/13/18092666/michelle-obama-becoming-memoir-marriage-barack, repeatedly uses the verb "drag" in the new-to-me sense of talking about somebody behind their back.  It's in the first sentence:  "By far the most endearing thing in Michelle Obama's new memoir Becoming is that she seizes absolutely every opportunity she has to brutally drag her husband."

Apparently the term is equivalent to "talking smack" or "throwing shade."  Indeed, the article's title is "The best part of Michelle Obama's new memoir is how much smack she talks about her husband; Becoming proves that the Obamas are soulmates brought together by a mutual love of shade."  It's not an entirely negative thing, as "Every time Michelle drags her husband, the affection that breathes through her words serves to make the Obama marriage feel even more authentic and even more admirable."

John Baker

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list