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The pits

Posted by ESC on June 16, 2010 at 20:28

In Reply to: The pits posted by ESC on June 16, 2010 at 20:13:

: : Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "This is the pits?"

: I was thinking pits as in the depths of despair. But two references say it is pits as in armpits. The expression is "Mainstream 1960s," according to "Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang" by Tom Dalzell (Merriam-Webster Inc., Springfield, Md., 1996), Page 119. It was first used in the late 1970s, according to "

Then there's reference No. 3 that puts it back to the 1950s and says it relates to 1. the depths of despair (what I said) and 2. a situation, object or person who is "totally undesirable." "Cassell's Dictionary of Slang" by Jonathon Green (Wellington House, London, 1998). Page 923. All three agree that it is a U.S. expression.