Posted by ESC on October 23, 2004
In Reply to: Get the lowdown posted by Bob on October 23, 2004
: : : "Get the low down" on something means finding or determining the truth or facts about a subject. What I am interested in is how it got started and where.
: : It could that this is just a variant of the age old saying 'to get to the bottom' of something; ie to get to the roots of the matter.It,too has been around for a while.
: "Lowdown" is one word, slang for the trurh. There's also the hyphenated "low-down," an adjective meaning despicable and contempible. Think roots, then snakes.
DOWN LOW, THE - "HOUSTON -- Once a week the five friends, all members of the Abundant Life Cathedral, get together to eat sushi, sip wine and talk. But one recent afternoon the women chose a different activity: They went to see 'Not a Day Goes By,' a musical about black men on the 'down low' who, while not calling themselves gay or bisexual, have sex with other men, often behind the backs of their wives and girlfriends. To these women, it was a subject of increasing urgency. 'Once I found out how prevalent the 'down low' was in our community, I was very afraid,' said one of the women, Tracy Scott, a 37-year-old government relations consultant. .." From "AIDS fears grow among black heterosexual women," by Linda Villarosa, New York Times. Reprinted in the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader on April 6, 2004.
DL = down low = "something done sneakily, on the sly, literally 'down low.'" From "Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner" by Geneva Smitherman (Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, N.Y., 1994)