Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 11:23:01 -0500 From: Grant Barrett Subject: Re: [p*tut] RE>>[p*tut] A more current reference to patootie would be Oliver North's very public statement before the election that he could Rgive a ratUs patootieS about something or other. He obviously used it as meaning ratUs ass (if youUll pardon the indelicate language). -------------------------------------- Date: 4/20/95 9:04 AM To: Grant Barrett From: American Dialect Society OK, so I was wrong about the Laugh-In connection, but it appears that (at least from the time of the e. e. cummings quote) a (horse's) patoot(ie) was indeed the hindquarters of the relevant animal, hence 'you bet your sweet patootie'. Here's an interesting speculation on its source from someone off-list (Barbara Abbott, Michigan State U.): >I do remember "You bet your sweet patootie", and I never saw Laugh-In. >(I've also heard "You bet your sweet bippie" though too -- maybe from >people who did see Laugh-In.) Anyway, I always thought patootie meant rear >end, but maybe there's another etymology. That first phrase (from David >Bergdahl) about a horse's patoot made me think they were referring to road >apples (similar (in substance if not form) to what we used to call "cow >pies"), and why not call them horse potatoes (they look more like potatoes >than apples anyway!)? From there ("horse's patootie") it would be a >natural blunder to reconstrue "patootie"/"patoot" as rear end, and >something worthy of betting. Sounds good to me. And let it no longer be said that I don't know my bippy from my patootie. --Larry