Posted by Smokey Stover on October 05, 2007
In Reply to: Shirley verses Alan posted by Shirley on October 05, 2007
: I was swapping memories with a childhood friend on Friends Reunited and recalled the saying 'Shirley verses Alan'. It was the tradition to write this on walls to make everyone aware that the two named were "sweethearts" or, as we used to put it "going with" each other. I wonder where the verb verses comes from - could it be mediaeval ie a swain courting his lady love by writing verses in her honour?
My first reaction was that "verses" is just a misspelling of "versus." But since "versus" means, in English usage, "against," it doesn't seem quite to fit the situation of sweethearts. "Going with each other" sounds rather unlike "going against each other." On the other hand, "to verse" is not a verb that I have heard.