The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #100427   Message #2013743
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
01-Apr-07 - 04:56 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Regional expressions
Subject: RE: Folklore: Regional expressions
Some expressions travel, and die out where they started. Others, like 'pisser,' become almost universal before people get tired of them.
Pisser appeared in New York (1945)- a wag, a corker, (referring to a person) or a prank. Later, an amusing person, or thing. Can anyone find an earlier quote?
"I could have gone a real pisser" - had a bad accident. 1974.

These are among the quotations on 'pisser' in the Oxford English Dictionary- in addition to acting as names for the penis and the pudendum, which are quoted from 1901, but probably date well back.

The Italian proverb- 'He who pisseth against the wind wetteth his shirt.' 1642, Torriano.

Piss on, off, or about have been used in so many ways as to defy cataloging.
Slippy, meaning slippery, in in print from 1548 in England.
Charles Dickens complained about 'slippy' chairs in 1837.

Then there are slippy people- slim, crooked, spry, etc., etc.- used in many senses.
soda cracker- Calling this 'regional,' since soda biscuit or soda cracker are the original names for biscuits made with sodium bicarbonate, is incorrect. Common from the 19th c. as these were marketed widely.
'Saltine,' on the other hand, appeared in "Grocery World" in 1907, applied to a commercial type of cracker sprinkled with salt. It has remained chiefly U. S. and Canada; usage in the UK later and still not used much.

Demonstrating that a term or saying is regional requires careful research.

Got to quit now, I'm fixin' to go ta home.