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Waxing roth

Posted by Mel Vogel on February 20, 2007

Is there such a phrase as "waxing roth" --- meaning, I think, to be very upset or mad?

I recall that phrase was included in a Marx Brothers movie, the one where Groucho is president of a university. He's in his office and in comes his secretary; the secretary reminds him that an important visitor has been waiting very long to see Groucho and that the latter has kept the visitor waiting.

The secretary says, "(the visitor) is so upset at being kept waiting -- he's waxing roth." Groucho, as only he could do, quips, "Well tell him to wax someone else!"