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"Save me the neck" - Philip Barry

Posted by Word Camel on May 04, 2002

The baseball phrase reminded me of this. In my youth, I played the part of dumb blonde, Frances Fenn in Philip Barry's 1938 play, Spring Dance (or Spring Madness).

In the play, Frances who desperately wants to attract the attention of one of the Harvard men visiting the college is given advice on how to flirt by her more worldly sorority sisters. After much awkward batting of eyelashes and advice about small talk, she is told that if all else fails she should use the phrase "Save me the neck!" She subsequently uses the phrase with her beau, who responds with unbridled passion.

Unable to decipher the meaning of the phrase, my fellow actors and I decided that it was probably a nonsensical double entendre. Having heard the baseball phrase however, I'm wondering if there is more to it.

Any ideas?