phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

To have a crush on

Posted by ESC on June 07, 2003

In Reply to: To have a crush on? posted by Word Camel on June 07, 2003

: Why is the word 'crush' used to as a synonym for an infatuation? I know a crush can mean a hug, but it still doesn't entirely make sense to me...

: Crushable Camel

I didn't find the "why" but I found the "when."

CRUSH ON, TO HAVE A - To be infatuated with, attracted to. This euphemism originated in the United States as a slang term about 1914. It was institutionalized by the popular song of the twenties, written by the Gershwins (George and Ira), which crooned, "I've got a crush on you, Sweetie Pie.' In later usage, ca. 1929, A CRUSH became the person one HAD A THING FOR, or in British terms, WAS GONE ON." From "Wordsworth Book of Euphemism" by Judith S. Neaman and Carole G. Silver (Wordsworth Editions, Hertfordshire, 1995)