Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No Slang Like Old Slang, Part 4

It’s time for another round of No Slang Like Old Slang…Unless it’s New, the Nineteenteen game show where you have to identify whether a word or turn of phrase was used in the 19th century, or has a later (20th century) origin. I’ll post the answers in the comment column…have fun!

1. All right (implying agreement); “When Elizabeth said ‘all right’ to going for a little jaunt in Harry’s fancy new phaeton, I don’t think she expected it would include racing Lord Fotheringly through Hyde Park.”

2. Bad show! (an exclamation of disapprobation). “Bad show, Harry, so carelessly letting Elizabeth get thrown from your phaeton like that!”

3. Smarmy (hypocritically effusive); “Of course, if Elizabeth hadn’t been so smarmy over Harry’s inheriting all his great-uncle’s money, she wouldn’t have ended up on her backside in the middle of the carriage drive.”

4. Dead-pan (expressionless) “My grandmother manages to be completely dead-pan when playing whist with her friends, even when extra kings somehow start appearing in play.”

5. Ersatz (fake or substitute, usually of lesser quality): “Alas, the pearls Aunt Minelda wore to the Duchess’s ball were ersatz.”

6. Posh (sophisticated, aristocratic); “Aunt told me afterward it was because the Duchess’s parties were anything but posh, and she couldn’t be bothered to get her good pearls out of Uncle’s safe for them.”

7. To the nth degree (extremely); “Of course, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy herself to the nth degree whenever she goes.”

And second, it's time to announce the winner of the drawing for a copy of Courtship and Curses from last week's commenters...Lana Williams, can you please drop me a line via the contact form on my website so that we can arrange to get your book to you?


Marissa Doyle said...

Here are the answers! How did you do?
1. Old— All right is indeed all right, as it dates to 1837.
2. New— Bad show did not show up until 1916.
3. New— Smarmy didn’t slide into speech until 1909.
4. New— Dead-pan was first recorded in1928 in the US
5. Old— Ersatz is actually the real thing, first recorded in1875
6. New— Posh dates only to 1903.
7. Old— To the nth degree is indeed 19th century, going back to 1852

Liviania said...

I did okay. I got ersatz right, for example, but not bad show.