[Ads-l] bullshit

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 1 00:38:55 EDT 2020


> I'd be VERY surprised if BS came from Chinese.

You ain't just a-birdturdin'!

On Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 3:07 PM Geoffrey Nathan <geoffnathan at wayne.edu>
wrote:

> Although I'm by no means a Chinese expert,
> the expression referred to is almost certainly Mandarin, not Cantonese.
> But I'd be VERY surprised if BS came from Chinese.
>
> Geoff
>
> Geoffrey S. Nathan
> WSU Information Privacy Officer (Retired)
> Emeritus Professor, Linguistics Program
> http://blogs.wayne.edu/proftech/
> geoffnathan at wayne.edu
>
> From: Jonathan Lighter<mailto:wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 2:43 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: bullshit
>
> [EXTERNAL]
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      bullshit
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Jim Gordon, a contributor to Quora,com, posted this interesting suggestion
> in 2018:
>
> "  It=E2=80=99s a very small leap from a very basic and frequently-used
> exc=
> lamatory
> Chinese term =E4=B8=8D=E6=98=AF (B=C3=B9sh=C3=AC =3D is not, not so, not
> po=
> ssible, not necessary, not
> right, etc.) to an unlettered Westerner=E2=80=99s misinterpretation of it
> a=
> s
> bullshit!"
>
> Is this a viable etymology?
>
> Ockham's razor says "Meh," especially since Gordon does not specify which
> form of "Chinese" the stated pronunciation comes from, but if
> Cantonese-speaking immigrants used it frequently, it would certainly have
> leant itself to re-interpretation.
>
> JL
> --=20
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


-- 
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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