Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 10:43:56 -0500 From: Jesse T Sheidlower Subject: Re: the last word on "bite me!," I hope Richard Spears writes: > I think the *Bite me!* business is just about played out, but I wanted to ask > if there was any particular reason why the original request was for a printed > citation--or the date when the expression was first in print. Few of the > responses actually gave a print date and the earliest recollections are about > 30 years before the 1977 date given in Lighter. First of all, just to clarify things, as the original poster made clear, the 1977 date in Lighter referred to _bite the big one,_ not _bite me._ There is no separate entry for _bite me!_ in Lighter. The only cite for the term is from 1992 and found under _bite it!_, which has other variants, including "Why don't you take a bite of me?" from 1949. An important related phrase is _bite my ass_ s.v. _ass,_ first cited in 1954. Note that several phrases under _bite it_ should go under _bite my ass_ instead, and that there should be a cross-reference to the phrase at _ass._ Other related terms are _eat me!,_ from 1957-62 (and with _eat (one's) ass out_ 'rebuke' from 1927, euphemistically); and _blow me,_ in assorted variants. Now, as for the actual phrase _bite me!,_ the earliest Lighter has found is dated 1944-61-- i.e., it may have been written as early as 1944, but was definitely written before 1961. The book in question is called _Parachute Infantry_ by Donald Kenyon Webster, published in 1994; it is a military memoir focusing on World War II. Despite the 1994 pub date, the author died in 1961, making that an absolute final date for the usage. It refers, of course, to WWII, so one can assume, if not conclusively prove, its use at that time. The cites: 1944-61 D.K. Webster _Parachute Infantry_ 12: "Press a lot of pants in the Bulge?" "Bite me, buddy, bite me." _Ibid._ 137: "Better stir it some more, Mick." "Bite me." These citations came to light after the HDAS was published; they will be included should we ever be able to update the book. Hope this helps. Jesse Sheidlower, partly on behalf of J.E. Lighter Random House Reference Dept.