Posted by Victoria S Dennis on November 26, 2010 at 16:37
In Reply to: Smack-bang posted by Sean on November 26, 2010 at 14:58:
: I used the term 'smack-bang' in a sentence today, paused, then rushed over to the computer to see if you guys knew the origin of said phrase. I cannot find it though. Any ideas?
The OED points out that the verb "smack" can be used as an adverb to mean "With, or as with, a smack; suddenly and violently; slap. Also with down, through, etc.
The quotations given to illustrate this sense are:
1782 COWPER Smack went the whip, round went the wheels. 1799 GEO. [IV] in Paget Papers He..tumbled..smack on his face. 1806 H. SIDDONS Smack comes a ball from the enemy and carries away his head. 1836 T. HOOK So away I went smack bang into a quaker's shop to buy myself a pair of gloves.
As you can see, by 1836 "smack-bang" already existed, doubling the effect of "smack" on its own. (VSD)