[Ads-l] "Ticked off"; was Re: Punchline: A thing up with which I will not put (July 31, 1941)

Stanton McCandlish smccandlish at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 19 18:24:57 UTC 2020

What's really curious to me about this is "ticked off" (for "angered" or
"irritated") in a British publication in 1941. I would have thought that an
American expression, especially given that "tick" is often used in British
English for what Americans call "check mark", and "ticked off" thus more
often means "checked off", as on a list.  The British publication putting
it in quotation marks suggests it was seen as slangish or non-native, so
maybe it was borrowed from American military lingo?  There were American
and partly-American volunteer forces in the UK by at least as early as
1940; the US began officially supplying aid to the UK in March 1941.

On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 1:49 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>

> [ref] 1941 July 31, The West Sussex Gazette, Our Comment and Gossip:
> Things in General, Quote Page 4, Column 2, Sussex, England. (British
> Newspaper Archive) [/ref]
> [Begin excerpt]
> The story is told of an English master from a high school who was
> called up, received a commission, and found himself in official
> correspondence over military matters with a superior officer. The
> superior, who was something of a martinet, precise in matters of
> composition, "ticked off" his junior for ending a sentence with a
> preposition.


> [End excerpt]

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list