[Ads-l] Adage: Beauty=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=99s_?=only skin deep, but ugliness goes to the bone

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 8 10:37:58 EDT 2020


Re nominal "ugly."

1912 Muskogee Times-Democrat (May 10, 1912) 1: “God don’t like ugly,” was
the way he prefaced his explanation.

The speaker is described as an "old man" in Louisiana.

For those who don't know, the statement is proverbial.


On Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at 10:27 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> Wonderful! Jonathan and John, thanks for locating and sharing some
> fine citations. The QI article has now been updated although it may
> take some time before the changes are visible to all website visitors
> because of distributed caching.
>
> [Begin acknowledgement update]
> Special thanks to John Baker who located the important 1824 citation
> and Jonathan Lighter who located the entertaining 1859 verse.
> [End acknowledgement update]
>
> Garson
>
> On Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at 4:01 PM Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:
> >
> > Antedated in American Farmer (Jan. 23, 1824) (Google Books):  “It is a
> trite saying that beauty is but skin deep, yet I have heard it said that
> ugly goes to the bone, and I am sure there is nothing in this doctrine so
> beautiful as to prevent its penetrating even to the marrow.”
> >
> >
> > John Baker
> >
> >
> > From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of
> Jonathan Lighter
> > Sent: Saturday, September 26, 2020 10:45 AM
> > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> > Subject: Re: Adage: Beauty’s only skin deep, but ugliness goes to the
> bone
> >
> > External Email - Think Before You Click
> >
> >
> > 1859 _North Carolina University Magazine_ (March) 329:
> > Let him remember, however,
> >
> > Beauty's but skin deep,
> > Ugly's to the bone;
> > Beauty ever fades away,
> > Ugly holds its own.
> >
> > Don't ignore the early appearance of nominalized "ugly."
> >
> > JL
> >
> > On Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at 8:39 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <
> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com<mailto:adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Dorothy Parker sometimes has been given credit for the remark "Beauty
> > > is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone". An interaction on
> > > twitter inspired me to investigate this saying, and the results are
> > > available here:
> > >
> > > https://quoteinvestigator.com/2020/09/25/skin-deep/<
> https://quoteinvestigator.com/2020/09/25/skin-deep>
> > >
> > > In 1829 a newspaper in Exeter, England printed an anonymous short item
> > > that partially matched the saying under examination:
> > >
> > > [ref] 1829 February 5, Trewman’s Exeter Flying-Post, Varieties, Quote
> > > Page 4, Column 1, Exeter, Devon, England. (Newspapers_com) [/ref]
> > >
> > > [Begin excerpt]
> > > "Beauty is but skin deep," quoth an old maid, who had no pretensions
> > > to it; "and so is ugliness," replied a young lady who had no
> > > pretensions to that.
> > > [End excerpt]
> > >
> > > In 1840 a collection of essays and illustrations titled "Heads of the
> > > People; or, Portraits of the English" was published in London. The
> > > piece "Tavern Heads" by Charles Whitehead included dialog containing
> > > the twisted adage:
> > >
> > > https://books.google.com/books?id=4rkTAAAAQAAJ&q=+ugliness+#v=snippet&
> <https://books.google.com/books?id=4rkTAAAAQAAJ&q=+ugliness+#v=snippet&>
> > >
> > > [ref] 1840, Heads of the People; or, Portraits of the English, Drawn
> > > by Kenny Meadows, With Original Essays by Distinguished Writers,
> > > Tavern Heads by Charles Whitehead, Start Page 113, Quote Page 142,
> > > Robert Tyas, London. (Google Books Full View) [/ref]
> > >
> > > [Begin excerpt]
> > > "When beauty was shared, I was behind the door, and my portion came
> > > through the keyhole, I’m sure: but beauty’s only skin deep, after all,
> > > they say."
> > >
> > > "But ugliness goes to the bone, they say also," remarked Mrs. Chatham,
> > > laughing. "Ah! Susan, you’re a sly girl."
> > > [End excerpt]
> > >
> > > Dorothy Parker died in 1967, and the earliest linkage between Parker
> > > and the saying apparently occurred in 1977. This evidence was not
> > > substantive, and QI believes that the attribution to Parker is
> > > currently unsupported.
> > >
> > > Feedback welcome,
> > > Garson O'Toole
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org<
> 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<
> http://www.americandialect.org>
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> 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."

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