[Ads-l] "Boner" as sexual term versus word for 'big mistake' or 'funny goof-up' =?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=93_?=post-1951?

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 10 10:24:57 UTC 2020

Green’s Dictionary of Slang has a 1966 citation for boner with the
relevant sense of an erection. The OED has a significantly earlier
citation from 1936 for this sense. I will post details later (or
someone else can).


On Sun, May 10, 2020 at 4:20 AM Stanton McCandlish
<smccandlish at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'd been aware of the survival of "boner" in the sense of 'an
> embarrassing error' or 'a laughable mistake', and sometimes a derived usage
> that seemed to mean something along the lines of 'an over-the-top joke or
> skit' (i.e. intentional rather than accidental humor), into the 1970s,
> though it was already pretty rare by then.
> This caught my eye:
> https://screenrant.com/joker-boner-comic-meme/
> Short version: a 1951 Batman comic is all about the Joker and a series of
> his "boner" crimes.  It just overwhelmingly dwells on the word, in panel
> after panel, in phrasing that looks too double-entrendre to be accidental.
> I have to wonder whether the penile sense was already established slang by
> this date, but not permeated enough that censors at the Comics Code
> Authority would catch it.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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