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Yar, and ungawa

Posted by Bob on July 01, 2005

In Reply to: Yar? posted by ESC on June 30, 2005

: : : : what word can I use instead of smoth sailing? It has to be a one, educated sounding word

: : : Felicitous peregrination? (Well, hey, it's better than smoth.)

: : But it's two words, bob.

: : Calm? Ease? Success? --rb

: I thought this exchange from Philadelphia Story meant smooth sailing. The dictionary says "yar" refers to speed, agility and manueverability. Not sure if that's what you're looking for.

: (Dexter has just proposed)
: Tracy Lord: Oh Dexter you're not doing it just to soften the blow?
: C. K. Dexter Haven: No.
: Tracy Lord: Nor to save my face?
: C. K. Dexter Haven: Oh, it's a nice little face.
: Tracy Lord: Oh Dexter, I'll be yar now, I promise to be yar.
: C. K. Dexter Haven: Be whatever you like, you're my redhead.

Every time I see Philadelphia Story (or the remake, "High Society") I wonder if the scriptwriter(s?) made up "yar." I've never heard a real human being say it. I just checked and they don't know it. It's a stupid-sounding word in a smart script, so maybe they were pulling our collective leg.

Which reminds me of the native languages spoken in early Hollywood "jungle" pictures. Tarzan, and lots of others. The "natives" use the word "ungawa" quite often. The unverified story, as it's been told to me, is that "ungawa" was an inside joke among the studio staff writers who would go out to a bar on Gower Avenue for lunch. Having lunch "on Gower" became "ungawa."
Then there's the scream sound effect that's been slipped into more than 100 movies, and counting.... but that's another story.

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