[Ads-l] obscene slang on TV

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jun 1 20:19:50 UTC 2020

> On Jun 1, 2020, at 1:59 PM, Bill Mullins <amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> Link to the episode/time?
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1D2RDhzd6w
> The scene of interest starts at 3:45.  From context, I think the sexual meaning is intended.
> Lisa:  I'm over 21, I've been a police woman for two and a half years --
> Styles:  That's heavy.  We'll put you in a candy store and you can take the lollipops.
> Royster:  You a flat back?  You work Sailor Town?
> Styles:  You know what a wax job is?
> Royster:  A string of pearls?
> A correction -- on second listening, the actual quote is "string of pearls", not "pearl necklace".  I think it carries the same meaning here

That hypothesis is supported by the most upvoted lemma at urbandictionary.com, although there are other proposed entries, included a related but less specific meaning.  I’m not even going to touch on the proposed glosses for “wax job”, which given the context and the era apparently is not an ethnonymically neutral term for a Brazilian.  

> (but it could mean, a la Robert Schimmel https://youtu.be/xL-bw3g_VoM?t=150<https://youtu.be/xL-bw3g_VoM?t=153> , a string of beads pulled from the nether regions synchronous with orgasm), but the different phrasing makes the antedatings moot.
> FWIW, ZZ Top released the song "Pearl Necklace" in 1981.
> "She wore a pearl necklace
> She wore a pearl necklace . . .
> And that's not jewelry what she's talking 'bout
> It really don't cost that much "
> Other comments:
> At 42:04, a man tries to buy chips, and gives his name as "G. L. Spelvin", almost certainly an Easter-Egg reference to George Spelvin:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Spelvin
> The cashier from whom he tried to buy chips was played by Tony Giorgio, a former card and dice cheat turned magician, and regular performer at the Magic Castle.  He was often used to consult on magic, cons, etc. for Hollywood (see The Cincinnati Kid, Harry in your Pocket), and would occasionally do some work on screen as well, as he did here at 14:36 and 17:31 (note that the bottom deal at 14:36 is made obvious for the camera and viewer to see what is being done; Giorgio was capable of doing it invisibly).  If Giorgio looks a little familiar, it may be because he played Bruno Tattaglia in The Godfather.
> Angie Dickenson is playing a rookie cop at age 43.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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