Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 08:41:28 -0500
From: Robert Ness ness[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]DICKINSON.EDU
Subject: Re: "to dis"
I assume that you have many answers by now, but if not:
to dis: a clipping from disrespect, with functional
shift from noun to verb. On Tue, 27 Jan
1998, JANE M SPALDING-JAMIESON wrote:
Is "to dis" a verb now?
I am a student of linguistics at U.PEI. in Canada, and have heard two
instances of a slang term, wondering if anyone else has heard it, or
knows about its origins:
1/ Last week, Will Smith on "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" tv show says to
his girlfriend, "Are you dissin' me?"
Apparent meaning is something like, Are you trying to get rid of me,
or Are you disrespecting me?
2/ Here in Charlottetown, Angela Marchbank of PEI Special Olympics
said to me, also last week, "If you don't get through on the phone,
or if they say no to a donation ... just throw them all in a dis
pile. The dis pile is what we throw in the garbage later."
Dis- is listed in the Oxford dictionary as a prefix, which can mean
rejected, among other things. But how did it become a word? Any
(I realize this is just slang, but sometimes yesterday's
slang is today's serious vocabulary ... and I see in my peers a more
and more informal attitude towards the English language, which at
some point affects standard usage)
- Jane Spalding-Jamieson
jspaldingjam[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]upei.ca
(University of Prince Edward Island,
Charlottetown, PEI, Canada)