Posted by Smokey Stover on February 01, 2006
In Reply to: "And how!" posted by ESC on January 31, 2006
: : Does anyone know the origin of the saying "And how!"
: "and how! Indicating 'intensive emphasis of what someone else has just said,' 'and how!' is a long-popular catchphrase first recorded in 1924. The Americanism possibly derives from the German 'und wie!' or the Italian 'e come!', meaning the same thing, and once very common among Americans of German and Italian extraction, respectively." From Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).
Na, und wie! I decided to consult my handy beside copy of the OED and found this:
"d. and how!: excl[amation] used to indicate that the effect of something is difficult to describe = and no mistake, very much so! orig. U.S. [citation] 1865 B. TAYLOR Let. 16 June in M. H. Taylor Life & Lett. Bayard Taylor II. xviii. 434, I finished an article for the 'Atlantic' that day. As if I were not 'a tool of the elements!' 'And how?' as the Germans say (Americanicé--'You'd better believe it!')...." SS