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Why I outta

Posted by Pamela on January 14, 2009 at 23:51

In Reply to: Why I outta posted by ESC on January 14, 2009 at 16:55:

: : : : 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."

It's from Popeye, isn't it? I've checked and there's plenty of t-shirts with Popeye and the phrase on it for sale, but I can't find an actual quote from the cartoon. Pamela