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Take care, TCB

Posted by R. Berg on November 17, 2002

In Reply to: Take care, TCB posted by Bob on November 17, 2002

: : : : There is a lyric in the song, "Respect" by Otis Redding (Aretha Franklin's recording) that goes, "Take care of TCP." Does anyone know what TCP stands for?

: : : It's a type of antiseptic mouthwash/disinfectant.

: : Barney's absolutely right, but I don't think that TCP is a known brand name in the US, and anyway it struck me as a little unlikely that Aretha would be exhorting her listeners to look after their disinfectant.

: : A little research reveals that what Aretha *really* sings is this:-

: : R-E-S-P-E-C-T
: : Find out what it means to me
: : R-E-S-P-E-C-T
: : Take care, TCB
: : Oh, sock it to me, sock it to me [etc.]

: : TCB was a slangy acronym used at the time standing for Take Care of Business. The Temptations apparently had an album out in roughly the same period called TCB - Takin' Care Of Business.

: Elvis Presley made TCB jewelry-things (charms, maybe?) for his friends to wear around their necks. Takin' Care of Business must refer to some sort of activity or attitude, but I'm not quite sure what...

I remember "taking care of business" used in the 1960s and after, as counterculture slang, to mean handling whatever external demand was pressing on one at the moment. Coping. "The plumber's coming about that leaky pipe. I gotta get up off the couch and take care of business." Its meaning was very general. A more specific meaning surfaced when Monica Lewinsky reported to the press that she and Bill Clinton had had phone conversations during which each of them was taking care of business.