Friday, September 19, 2008
A Not So Big-Huge Post
Via my personal in-home reference library otherwise known as the Internet, I found out that it comes from the French word, "gigue" (/ʒig/), which was a mid-17th century dance that originated from the British "jig". Now, here's where it gets interesting and wholly American: In New Orleans, which was owned by France before the Louisiana Purchase, Jazz musicians somehow brought "gigue" to "gig". It's not hard to go from, "Monsieur, we must away to the Gigue!" to "Hey man, we can't be late to the gig!"
A turn of phrase that I can't find any information on -- and that really tickles me -- is "big-huge". Everyone says "big-huge"! At least I hear it everywhere I go (I even catch myself saying it), and by what I find when I Google it, it's even said in other English-speaking countries. How does that happen? Who said "big-huge" first and who picked up on it, and how in heaven's name did it circumnavigate the globe?
Back in the 80s, my friends and I came up with the word, "NAR". Actually, it's an anagram: Not All Right. Back in those chemical-saturated happy-go-lucky times, we used "NAR" as if it were a noun ("Well, that was a big-huge ball 'o NAR!"), a verb ("Don't NAR me out, man."), and an adjective ("Why are you always so NAR?"). It was just one of those things that everyone in the group picked up on -- we still use it and it's become part of my personal lexicon. What was weird was when one day a couple of us were driving on the 101 Freeway and we saw some graffiti on an overpass: the word NAR surrounded by the popular red circle with a line through it. Even weirder, in one of the Beavis & Butthead shows, right before a forklift crashes through the classroom wall and runs him over, Mr. van Driessen writes on the chalkboard, "No NAR....." It might have been that our NAR wasn't the word he was going to write, but still, can you think of another word?
Entomology is a kick.
Labels: Reading and Writing