Friday, October 17, 2008

Too Hi Larry Us NOT To Reprint!...

Mkay...I'm way too steroidally challenged tonight to type sensible sentences! But, I got a WONDERFUL email from someone who's identity I will keep anonymous for the moment (because I asked NOT permission to reprint this as I normally would...bite me...you KNOW who you are and you'll just have to find it in your pink heart to forgive me...eventually!). The email was in response to my question embedded in the previous post regarding where the term "buck up" came from. I also got a comment response from Lisa over at Brass & Ivory (is there some kind of prize for linking her on CHEESE, since I seem to be doing this on a regular basis? Sorry Lisa...sort of. You're stuff is just too good NOT to link!) that I'll reprint here in case you missed it.

So, here's the BUCK UP email:


I’m usually good with words so I decided to answer your “buck up” question. First off I was wrong about the meaning. I had always thought it meant to toughen up as opposed to cheer up.

I am usually very suspicious of Internet definitions and word origin stories because most of them are bullsh*t. But since I do not own an OED I had no choice. I came across the exact same origin story on dozens of different sites. Which must mean it’s true. Or that ‘cut and paste’ has become the soul of research!

This sounds feasible to me. After the history bit I’ve included several variations that might also apply.

It suggests somebody should cheer up, and not be downhearted or oppressed by circumstances. It is a phrase from nineteenth century Britain, derived from those bucks or dandies who were regarded as the acme of snappy dressing in the Regency period. (In its turn, that word came from buck in the sense of the animal, and had a slightly older meaning still that suggested male gaiety or spirit, with unsubtle suggestions of rutting deer.) In its dandified sense buck up first meant to dress smartly, for a man to get out of those comfortable old clothes and into something drop-dead gorgeous. Since to do so was often a fillip to the spirit, the phrase shifted sometime around the 1880s to its modern meaning.

buck up "cheer up" is from 1844

1. Lye or suds in which cloth is soaked in the operation of bleaching, or in which clothes are washed.

Buck\, v. t. 1. (Mil.) To subject to a mode of punishment which consists in tying the wrists together, passing the arms over the bent knees, and putting a stick across the arms and in the angle formed by the knees.

Buck\ (b[u^]k), v. i. 1. To copulate, as bucks and does.

3. (Mining) To break up or pulverize, as ores.

verb
1. to strive with determination; "John is bucking for a promotion"
2. resist; "buck the trend"

To pass (a task or duty) to another, especially so as to avoid responsibility:

3. an impetuous, dashing, or spirited man or youth.
4. Often Disparaging. a male American Indian or black.

Often disparaging? Often? Meaning there are times when you could refer to an African American male as a buck and it not be taken badly? Maybe I should try that next time someone is talking about Senator Obama. He is certainly dashing and spirited.

I’m glad you are not having a stroke. I like the idea of a betting pool on your longevity – put me down for ten bucks on you living to see 2070. Then you can say – “I lived through the seventies once; I’m not doing it again!” And then you may drift gently into that long goodnight.


And then, there was Lisa:


Ok, now you knew somebody has to do this:Taken from World Wide Words: Buck Up! - [Q] From Charlotte Heimann: “I found myself urging a dear friend to buck up! in spite of his having been given a distressing medical diagnosis. Why would I say that?”[A] We use it now to suggest somebody should cheer up, and not be downhearted or oppressed by circumstances. It is a phrase from nineteenth century Britain, derived from those bucks or dandies who were regarded as the acme of snappy dressing in the Regency period. (In its turn, that word came from buck in the sense of the animal, and had a slightly older meaning still that suggested male gaiety or spirit, with unsubtle suggestions of rutting deer.) In its dandified sense buck up first meant to dress smartly, for a man to get out of those comfortable old clothes and into something drop-dead gorgeous. Since to do so was often a fillip to the spirit, the phrase shifted sometime around the 1880s to its modern meaning. It seems to have been public school slang to start with, probably from Winchester College, and rather stiff-upper-lip British. It could suggest that the person being addressed should stop acting like a wuss, ninny or coward, as here from Edith Nesbit’s The Wouldbegoods of 1901: “Be a man! Buck up!”, and was something of a cliché at one time in stories of Englishmen abroad bravely facing adversity. From the early years of the twentieth century, it could also be an injunction on somebody to get a move on or hurry up; here’s an example, from D H Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers of 1913: “ ‘Half-past eight!’ he said. ‘We’d better buck up’ ”.Now, I thank Anne for throwing the BOOT at our dear Cheese. And Jen, that eye is a little disturbing. For some reason, I didn't see it with your comment at my place a few days ago.


OK, I'm off to "buck up" some more...WHATEVER that means!...

4 comments:

LISA EMRICH said...

Hey girl, link to me all you want. I like it.

Now those other definitions are a bit disturbing indeed. I mean... form of punishment involving bondage and bent knees, then adding the copulation and pulverizing, while all having to do with spirited young men...

Finally, turning "Be a Man! Buck Up!" to "Take it like a Man! Buck Up!" in the face of adversity. Suddenly the phrase is a bit less cheerful and encouraging.

So I say - Don't (b)uck up now! - The evil eye is watching.

Joan said...

Hi Linda! It sounds to me like people are saying either 1) you need to dress like a man or 2)find a rutting deer and put cool clothes on it. Either might cheer you up if done on steroids (either you or the buck). Intriguing!
N'yuk, n'yuk...

LISA EMRICH said...

Please come accept your award.

Jen said...

I love the scandal that the Evil Eye is causing. I think I freaked out Diane J. Standiford as well.

My work is done....