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Why I outta

Posted by ESC on January 14, 2009 at 16:55

In Reply to: Why I outta posted by Brian from Shawnee on January 14, 2009 at 16:20:

: : : Where did the phrase "why I outta", slang for "why I aught to", come from?

: : I've heard it said in old movies. I'll check my catchphrase books and see if there is a particular movie or character associated with the phrase.

: Actually it's "why, I oughta--", from "why, I ought to--" and the physical threat goes unspoken.

: The construction is called an aposiopesis, which arises when the 'if- clause' or protasis of a condition is stated without an ensuing 'then- clause' or apodosis. [Source: Wikipedia entry for Aposiopesis]

In the movie "Peggy Sue Got Married," there were a couple of exchanges where the young people in the film were using a catchphrase - Why, I oughta -- but I don't know if it was for real or something made up for the movie. I couldn't find it in movie quotes for Peggy Sue. But I think this (from a script online) is what I remember:

"Why, I oughta..."
I don't get it.
That's 'cause you're not a total moron like they are.
It's a stupid movie thing they started.
That's enough outta you, little lady!
"Why, I oughta..."

She's almost a juvenile delinquent.
- No! - Out!
"Why, I oughta..."

I was thinking the phrase might be from The Three Stooges. But the phrase I found in "TV & Movie Insults" by J. Alphonse Hoist was "Why, I'll murder ya." Of course, it was pronounced more like "moider ya."