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Why I outta

Posted by ESC on January 17, 2009 at 22:47

In Reply to: Why I outta posted by pamela on January 14, 2009 at 23:51:

: : : : : 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

I searched and found a link to a Popeye cartoon. The original entry mentioned "Why, I oughta" but I didn't hear that in the 'toon.