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Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by KILO NOVEMBER, Sep 4, 2013.
That’s not only British though? I’m sure I’ve heard it in the States.
Yeah, it's pretty common in the U.S., though like a lot of colloquial terms in the U.S., I believe it's English in origin.
My grandmother called soap opera TV shows "serials" and frequently said "I swan," meaning "I swear" (or the occasional "I swanny to my goodness").
My grandmother and mother both insisted on silence in the house while they followed their "stories." "Shut up you kids, my story is coming on!"
A wonderful insult you never hear anymore is "hobbledehoy," referring to a self-conscious, awkward teenager. It was often used as a subtle synonym for "impudent young pup" or "whippersnapper," but it carried with it the nuance of gawky adolescence. It was common in the Era for walrusy old plushbottoms to wave their canes in the air and write fuming articles for Scribner's or the Readers Digest denouncing the generation of hepcats, alligators, and jitterbugs before them as "irresponsible hobbledehoys."
Yes, like Germany still does. Just "Serien".
My grandmother also demanded absolute quiet when her stories were on. My husband's grandmother would lock her front and back doors and refused to answer the phone when her soaps were on. And God forbid a storm came up and dh and his brothers were caught outside, they either had to rush to someone else's house or stay outside, but Granny was not going to open that door for love nor money!
Not exactly the same but I often use the term "Whistle britches" when referring to young kids at work
My wife, upset with the cable company, said she was going to call and "Raise Old Billy Ned". What is the source of that saying?
Never heard that one exactly but there used to be a lot of similar phrases like 'billy o' 'old ned' 'old nick' 'old scratch' usually referring to the devil. A lady would not say 'I am going to raise the devil' still less would she say 'I am going to give them hell'.
I was watching "Made for Each Other" last night and the grandmother in the movie uses the expression "pell-mell" meaning to act in a haphazard and hasty fashion. I remember hearing that one - I immediately recognized it - but haven't heard it in, probably, decades
In the radio commercials of the Era, a certain cigarette brand was pronounced "pell mell." Even though the public insisted on calling it "Paul Maul."
I remember Pall Mall cigarettes pronounced, as you said, "Paul Maul." I would swear they were advertised that way in the '60s an '70s, but don't remember any specific advertisements, so maybe I never did see an ad for them. Did the company continue to call them "pell mell," or did it eventually give in and go with "paul maul?"
The latest Pall Mall radio commercials I've heard are from the mid-sixties, on St. Louis Cardinals baseball broadcasts, and Mr. Caray sort of slurs it into "pal mal," which is midway between the two extremes.
Like a "shopping-mall", so "maul", I would speak it "Paul Maul", too, no question. Not that german "Pallll Malll". Not to mistake with "Pulmoll".
Strangely, Pall Mall is the name of a fashionable street in London yet the British (who have never learned to speak proper English) insist on pronouncing it "pell mell." Not only that, but as early as Dickens the term "pell mell" is used to mean chaotic or haphazard. As to the cigarettes, it has long been noted that American cigarettes tended to have macho names while British brands tended to have socially snooty names.
I seem do remember, back in the 70s, it didn't get much more macho then JPS! Almost made me want to smoke.
What's really funny about that is that in the Era, "Marlboro" brand cigarettes were marketed to women, under the slogan "Mild As May."
But in 1954, the Boys gave Marlboro a sex change, and turned them into the ruggedest most he-man sticks of carcinogen on the market.
"None of them sissy 'beauty tips' for me, nosireee!"
You should hear some upper crust types pronounce Conduit Street W1 as Cundit Street. Or refer to police constables as cuntstable. They really don’t like that either.
I've heard this phrase all my life in the US of A. Can anyone confirm that it is of British origin?
There is a probably spurious claim made for Melton Mowbray in the early nineteenth century. But the first recorded use is later in the US in the eighteen eighties. It’s certainly a phrase I would associate with the American west and cowboys on a spree. In fact in High Plains Drifter the Clint Eastwood character gets the townspeople to literally paint the town red to welcome back the outlaws who are going to rampage through it. I don’t know if the phrase would have been in common use at the time the film is set or whether that's an anachronism.