[Ads-l] to don

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Dec 14 12:49:06 EST 2019


 I suspect "doff (one's hat)" is more robust than "don" for 'put on'.  But
if "don" is simply understood as 'wear' or 'sport', the elegant parallelism
between "don" and "doff" is lost.    Sigh.

LH

On Sat, Dec 14, 2019 at 10:40 AM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> I suspect it's related to a misapprehension of the now notorious line, "Don
> we now our gay apparel," which theoretically could mean either 'put on' or
> 'wear.'
>
> As mentioned elsewhere, my grandchildren were taught in school that the
> lyrics were "Don we now our fine apparel."
>
> JL
>
> On Sat, Dec 14, 2019 at 10:32 AM Ben Yagoda <byagoda at udel.edu> wrote:
>
> > I have been noticing this usage in my students' writing for several years
> > and have seen it a couple of times in the press. I speculate that it
> > developed because in this context both “sport” and “wear” are less than
> > ideal—“sport” because it’s old-fashioned and “wear” because it has a much
> > broader meaning than “wearing on a particular occasion.” I also note the
> > roughly parallel development of “rock,” meaning wear a particular
> clothing
> > item to good effect. Green’s Dictionary of Slang suggests it derives from
> > hip-hop, with the first citation from 1987: "Boogie-Down Productions
> > ‘Elementary’ [lyrics] Always talkin junk, yet in jail, youre rockin
> dresses
> > [...] Watchin all these females rock their pants too tight.”
> >
> > Ben
> >
> > > On Dec 14, 2019, at 12:00 AM, ADS-L automatic digest system <
> > LISTSERV at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> wrote:
> > >
> > > Date:    Fri, 13 Dec 2019 15:39:16 -0500
> > > From:    Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM <mailto:
> > wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>>
> > > Subject: to don
> > >
> > > 'To sport; wear":
> > >
> > > 2019
> > >
> >
> https://www.yahoo.com/gma/pigeons-wearing-cowboy-hats-roaming-las-vegas-nobody-103500468--abc-news-topstories.html
> > <
> >
> https://www.yahoo.com/gma/pigeons-wearing-cowboy-hats-roaming-las-vegas-nobody-103500468--abc-news-topstories.html
> > >
> > > :
> > >
> > > But almost a week after the birds were first spotted donning the cowboy
> > > hats, perhaps the two biggest questions remain unanswered -- who did
> this
> > > and why?
> > >
> > >
> > > JL
> > >
> > > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> > truth."
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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


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