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View Full Version : Etymology - "...made you his b****"



JohnnyGottaKeyboard
02-13-2015, 05:03 AM
So, in a period piece (1948) I have one guy say to another "...made you his bitch." But it sounds off to me--too modern.

I searched the Online Etymology Dictionary (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php) but couldn't find entries for either the statement nor variations ("make you my bitch", "act like my bitch").

Any recommendations for finding the origins of this quaint little colloquialism?

poetinahat
02-13-2015, 05:11 AM
I thought it became au courant sometime in the late eighties or early nineties, via prison vernacular. About the same time people started wearing their pants six inches below their underwear.

blacbird
02-13-2015, 05:16 AM
That sounds really off to me. I don't think that usage came into vogue until maybe twenty years ago, probably originating from a prison environment. It certainly wasn't in use in my younger days (1960s-1970s).

caw

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
02-13-2015, 05:20 AM
Yes, I think you are both right. (I couldn't picture my character saying it.)

It just fit so nicely in with the preceding line about not being "anyone's dog". Now, I just need to find something equally rude to set the other guy off and trigger the violence...

poetinahat
02-13-2015, 05:20 AM
Yeah, it wouldn't have been a Forties thing.

benbradley
02-13-2015, 06:07 AM
There's this Google ngram thing, it finds the occurrence rate of any word(s) or phrase you throw at it versus time (publishing date), from all those books Google scanned and OCR'ed (without permission, etc., etc) years ago:
https://books.google.com/ngrams

From typing in the phrase, it appears first occurrence was around 1980:
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=make+you+my+bitch

It appears this hasn't been used in books that much, so if you want an actual "first use" in a book, it's likely in this list:
https://www.google.com/search?num=50&safe=off&tbm=bks&q=%22make+you+my+bitch%22&oq=%22make+you+my+bitch%22&gs_l=serp.3...16628.17772.0.18088.2.2.0.0.0.0.59.1 13.2.2.0.msedr...0...1c.1.61.serp..2.0.0.etnBs8Vos JI

Maybe Urban Dictionary has an equivalent saying that might have been used back then.

ironmikezero
02-13-2015, 11:34 PM
In the late '40s, the word you're looking for would have been "punk" - a prison reference to a submissive inmate, the object of derision, scorn, and sexual abuse. It made its way to the streets and was in common use in the '50s to refer to juvenile delinquents. Not all users were aware of the more subtle connotations, but clarifications were forthcoming to those so referenced upon incarceration.

snafu1056
02-14-2015, 07:58 AM
I'd think "sucker" or "chump" would be more 40's. Or something like "made a monkey out of you."