Metafilter gets a Mention July 1, 2014 5:39 AM   Subscribe

This Guardian article on words with longer histories than you'd expect, gives this AskMe a mention.
posted by Ned G to MetaFilter-Related at 5:39 AM (32 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Great job, everyone!
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 5:45 AM on July 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Neat! I think I disagree with the "Not" one in the Guardian piece. But I completely missed that askme thread.
posted by cashman at 6:32 AM on July 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, cashman, me too--even though I was the one in our AskMe thread who mentioned the 1917 and 1930s uses, which I would argue are more accurate than the Guardian and OED's take on it.

Because if the sentence has the word "did" before the not, then it seems so much more just a case of a (comical) pause before finishing a correct sentence ("He hoped she did--not."), than the more granular structure we're talking about where the "not" is a bigger interjection without a properly-grammatical lead-in ("A girl's an awful fool to get married--NOT!").
posted by theatro at 7:36 AM on July 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


> Neat! I think I disagree with the "Not" one in the Guardian piece.

I agree with both parts of this, and theatro did a great job of explaining why the "not" example doesn't work.
posted by languagehat at 7:42 AM on July 1, 2014


There's something wrong, no typo in the Grauniad.
posted by arcticseal at 7:49 AM on July 1, 2014


There's something wrong, no typo in the Grauniad.

Welcome to the world of tomorrow, time traveller from the 1980s! Don't noise it around, but The Guardian will do away with hot metal typesetting in 1987, resolving the main cause of inadvertent typos. That said, I'm afraid you'll have to wait another ten years or so until Corrections and Clarifications comes along to highlight all the other mistakes. In the meantime, keep chuckling away at Private Eye, and try not to let Thatcher get you down.
posted by zamboni at 9:40 AM on July 1, 2014 [20 favorites]


To bang, meaning: have sex with. OMG.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:42 AM on July 1, 2014


In college we had a British student who mentioned that last night he'd banged Mika because she had a rubber and he didn't.

To bang, meaning: To knock on one's door.

A rubber, meaning: A pencil eraser (as seen here).

At least that's what the two of them assured us had been meant.
posted by maryr at 10:54 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was surprised to see the word hipster in Invisible Man used with disdain much like it is today.
posted by pseudodionysus at 11:20 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's a short story by Terry Southern called "You're Too Hip, Baby," written in the 1950s, about an American jazz musician living in Paris who finds himself in a perplexing friendship with a white hipster. He keeps trying to figure out what the guy wants -- he and his wife offer him all sorts of things, including marijuana and sex, and he declines them all. Finally, they realize all he wants to do is hang out with black jazz musicians, and they kick him out, telling him he's just too hip for them.

It's a different sort of hipster, but they definitely had their detractors.
posted by maxsparber at 1:03 PM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow, i'm continuously amazed by how much great content this site has produced that i still haven't seen, or just happened to not be browsing on the right days to ever notice.
posted by emptythought at 2:18 PM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Curiously, here's a HuffPo piece from last November mentioning some of the same words and the exact same examples, but which doesn't mention MetaFilter at all.
posted by XMLicious at 7:31 PM on July 1, 2014


So I guess "Oldster" is a word. Huh.

I could see "hipster" being used sarcastically as in scare quotes to refer to people who think they are hipsters but are total squares, but I'm just projecting what I think oldsters be like back then
posted by aydeejones at 11:15 PM on July 1, 2014


Then: "this guy thinks he's a hipster...LOL! Hipsters don't need to call themselves hipsters, we know it."

Now: "Look at that fucking hipster!"

Still projecting
posted by aydeejones at 11:16 PM on July 1, 2014


Also never tell an Englishman you put your dick in his mashed potatoes. He'll tell you that it's called "mash" and that dessert should never be combined with dinner, Americans be damned.
posted by aydeejones at 11:20 PM on July 1, 2014


"Learnings" dates back to Chaucer, which is a good thing to point out to disguntled fussbudgets.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:41 AM on July 2, 2014


Englishmen: when entertaining an American guest, always check your mash for currants.
posted by pipeski at 2:46 AM on July 2, 2014


In college we had a British student who mentioned that last night he'd banged Mika because she had a rubber and he didn't.

I suspect that joke was originally "knocked up" not "banged." "Bang" is slang for sex in the UK. But in the UK and the commonwealth you will actually say "knock me up in the morning" meaning "knock at my door to wake me up."
posted by yoink at 9:41 AM on July 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, and even more to the point, I know of no dialect where "to bang [person]" means "to knock at [person's] door." Unless, of course, you say "knock at [person's] door" with heavy emphasis while wiggling your eyebrows and rolling your eyes. Elbow prodding may also be required.
posted by yoink at 9:46 AM on July 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've never heard anyone here (Australia, therefore part of the Commonwealth) use 'knock me up' in that manner. The only way I've heard that used would be in the sense 'the bastard knocked me up', 'knocked up' being slang for 'made pregnant'. I guess it's one way to wake someone up, though.
posted by dg at 8:07 PM on July 2, 2014


It is entirely possible I either misremembered the wording used or that the British student misled us as to what he had done to Mika. I seem to recall some debate as to whether "bang" required a direction, but that the argument was made that you would ring Mika on the telephone, why not bang Mika on the door. But again, that may have been involved in debate at a later time when fondly recalling our dearly departed (it was a one year program, he'd gone back to Cambridge) British friend.

Hope all's well over there, Richard!
posted by maryr at 8:52 PM on July 2, 2014


The joke that Richard knocked up Mika because he didn't have a rubber is a much better joke!
posted by maryr at 8:54 PM on July 2, 2014


I've never heard anyone here (Australia, therefore part of the Commonwealth) use 'knock me up' in that manner.

I guess it's becoming old fashioned, but I can assure you it used to be a live expression. In fact, in Britain there used to be people employed as "knockers up" (singular "knocker up") to wake workers up before the start of the morning shift (essentially human alarm clocks).

If you want an example of the phrase being used in Australasia, here's an example from a novel published in New Zealand and set in Australia (Hunted by G.M. Reed):
‘Not a bit. But let us get to sleep. Knock me up at daylight if you are awake. I suppose these bush people move early and I want to have a good look at them. Good night.’
posted by yoink at 9:50 PM on July 2, 2014


As an Australian, I can attest to hearing the words "knock me up" to mean "awaken me at the appointed time" in the wild. It is the accepted terminology at hot air ballooning events, where early mornings and heavy drinking in the evening are de rigueur, and someone in the party is generally assigned the task of knocking everyone up in time for the pre-flight briefings.
posted by misfish at 11:01 PM on July 2, 2014


I did a semester abroad in London and every English guy I met knew perfectly well what "knocked up" means to Americans. They just loved saying "how about I stop by and knock you up some time."
posted by interplanetjanet at 6:29 AM on July 3, 2014


Also never tell an Englishman you put your dick in his mashed potatoes

As an English person, this one also makes no sense. Mashed potato seems like a normal phrase to me, a dick is unambiguously a dick, and none of this sentence seems related to dessert.
posted by emilyw at 6:46 AM on July 3, 2014


Spotted dick.
posted by languagehat at 8:06 AM on July 3, 2014


But there's no legitimate reason to put a dick in mashed potatoes, spotted or not.
posted by maryr at 10:15 AM on July 3, 2014


For the proper context, the line originally comes from a Mantan Morelan party record. I'm not going to transcribe the entire joke that leads up to it, but I will summarize it.

A little girl goes to school. Somebody has written "fuck" on the blackboard. The little girl wants to know what it means, and the embarrassed teacher says it means "serve."

There is a party at the little girl's house. One of the guests is notorious for his foul language, but his friends tell him he needs to behave. He controls himself through the entire party.

It comes time to serve the chicken, and the little girl is sent to get it. She stumbles over the foot of the foul-mouthed gentleman and says, "Excuse me, sir, while I go to the kitchen to fuck the chicken."

He looks around at his friend and says, "Shit, if it's going to be that kind of party, I'm going to stick my dick in the mashed potatoes."

It's actually a pretty good joke, and suggests there may be a sort of party where mashed potatoes might benefit from a decent rogering.
posted by maxsparber at 10:24 AM on July 3, 2014


I was surprised to see the word hipster in Invisible Man used with disdain much like it is today.

Invisible Man was published in 1952. According to Wikipedia, "hipster" goes back to Cab Calloway's Hepster’s Dictionary: Language of Jive, published in 1939.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:56 PM on July 3, 2014


ok, for all language pedants, spotted dick is not dessert! it's pudding!

and spotted dick is in no way a kind of dick. "spotted dick" may sound superficially like an adjective followed by a noun, but I do not know what a dick would even be in this context. A dick in the mashed potatoes could be a) a penis, or b) an unpleasant person, but cannot possibly be c) pudding. there are no puddings which are a kind of dick.

also we don't eat spotted dick, nobody eats that stuff, unless maybe as part of a sad school dinner with lumpy custard.
posted by emilyw at 2:53 AM on July 4, 2014


AND

spotted dick is rarely spoken of as if it were countable. "some spotted dick" yes. "can I have a spotted dick": not so much.

On the other hand penises are very countable (I haven't tried this, they keep moving).

Thus the expression "a dick" is even more unambiguously NOT PUDDING. Why thankyou.
posted by emilyw at 3:18 AM on July 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


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