Date: Tue, 6 Dec 1994 11:12:00 PST


Subject: Re: PEI List

My father ( fourth-generation Arkansawyer who grew up in the Delta) always

used the polite phrase "step aside from the trail."

Ellen Fennell


From: ADS-L

To: Multiple recipients of list ADS-L

Subject: Re: PEI List

Date: Tuesday, December 06, 1994 10:05AM

83--Okay now I've already forgotten what the listed one

was. Mine is a variant. SW PA 50's, but probably before,

since my grandfather used it--"see a man about a horse"--

take a piss, said only by men. I can't recall

hearing any woman say it, and, for some reason, I think

it meant going outside--in the woods, behind a tree, something

on that order. But since I never used it, I can't really

be sure this impression was right. It just seemed like the

kind of thing that was imported from construction sites,

deer stands, and fishin creeks. Obviously, when my grandfather

was a boy (born 1899), women probably didn't see men about

horses. I always took the "literal" meaning to be see

a man about [buying] a horse. But no one ever said that. I

spent a lot my childhood making up folk etymologies, so I'm

never sure when my "impressions" of meanings derive from

my attempts to figure out why we said what we did. My

father still uses this; as did my brother who remained in the

home town. (I assume my grandfather might still use it to.)

I feels completely awkward for me to think of myself using it.

But then, the whole PEI list may be gendered that way.


Joan Livingston-Webber webber[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

"What gets better is the precision with which we vex each other."

-Clifford Geertz