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"george" in Dict. of Amer. Slang

Posted by Jamie on August 20, 2002

In Reply to: "George" in Dict. of Amer. Slang posted by R. Berg on August 14, 2002

: My Dictionary of American Slang (1960 ed.) gives this meaning for "george" as an exclamation: "An expression denoting the speaker's awareness or appreciation of any extraordinary, remarkable, or attractive thing or person. Orig. pop. by comedian Jerry Lester on his network television program, 'Broadway Open House,' c1950" --though DAS gives examples as early as 1900. "Most common c1950 . . . Prob. from 'By George.'"

: For "george" as a noun:
: "1. An automatic pilot in an airplane. Some commercial and Air Force use. Prob. from the expression 'Let George do it' = let someone else assume the responsibility. 2. Anyone or anything remarkable or satisfying; anyone or anything that is 'George' (adj.). . . ."

: As an adjective:
: "1. Wise; mentally alert; shrewd. . . . 2. Fine, good, wonderful, excellent, pleasant, enjoyable . . . ."

: I'll throw another hypothesis into the pot: If stiffs are the dead, who do nothing, Georges might be the living, the responsible people who act when needed--fly the plane, call the ambulance, put up the tent, drain the swamp, go get the groceries, pay the bills.

That has solved another mystery for me: I used to work with a guy who would always end a discussion with "OK, lets call it George" meaning that's finished or decided. I assume this has the same origin.

Has anyone else heard this? Or was it totally idiolectical?

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