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Posted by ESC on April 01, 2000

In Reply to: I'll be your huckleberry posted by Bruce Kahl on April 01, 2000

: : Where did this come from what does it mean? It was used in a movie.

: From many undocumented guesses, conjectures and speculations!

: The phrase is on many top ten lists of favorite quotes from Hollywood films:
: "I'll be your huckleberry": Doc Holliday to Wyatt Earp in Tombstone. It was the WAY he said it. Great flick!!!

: Anyway,
: The phrase has ties to Arthurian lore. A Knight, coming to the service of a damsel would lower his lance and receive a huckleberry garland from the lady ( or kingdom) he would be defending. Therefore, "I am your huckleberry" may well have been spoken to the Earps and the statement's meaning may be "I am your champion".

The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, H-O by J.E. Lighter (Random House, New York, 1997) lists several meanings: 1. minuscule amount. 2. a fellow; character; boy. "one's huckleberry," the very person for the job. 3. bad treatment. "the huckleberry" is similar to "the raspberry." 4. a foolish, inept or inconsequential fellow.

From meanings 1 and 4, you can see the word can have opposite meanings. I guess you'd have to judge from how a person says it.

Another huckleberry phrase: "above one's huckleberry" -- beyond one's abilities. And "huckleberry train," one that stops at every station.

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