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View Full Version : "Well slap my ass and call me..." meaning and origins


Swallowed My Cellphone
04-20-2007, 12:30 PM
My Google-Fu isn't all that helpful. I can't seem to find a definitive answer to the meaning and origins of "well slap my ass and call me Judy/Sally/Charlie/Shirley."

It seems to be a smart-ass expression of surprise or incredulity (can someone tell me if I'm wrong about that), and there seems to be an earlier version along the lines of "Well cut off my legs and call me Shorty!" So okay, I found this in on on-line article, but the article doesn't actually elaborate on the origins, it just says "yeah, neat, it's similar to the Shorty one."

So, my friends. IS it just an expression of surprise? (or does it have smarmier origins)? And where the heck does it come from?

Swallowed My Cellphone
04-20-2007, 12:35 PM
Adding: Is it in any way related to "I wasn't born yesterday!" but more the opposite, like when you slap a baby's butt and then christen him/her?

Chronos
04-20-2007, 12:38 PM
My guess? It's a reference to newborns. The doctor/midwife/nurse/whoever's doing the delivery will give the baby a smack to encourage the lungs to start, and it's also around this time that the baby is named, hence the "call me..." part. So the person using the expression would be saying that he or she was apparently na´ve about something, as a newborn would be.

Swallowed My Cellphone
04-20-2007, 12:56 PM
My guess? It's a reference to newborns. The doctor/midwife/nurse/whoever's doing the delivery will give the baby a smack to encourage the lungs to start, and it's also around this time that the baby is named, hence the "call me..." part. So the person using the expression would be saying that he or she was apparently na´ve about something, as a newborn would be.
That's what I was figuring. I think the article that said "Well cut ff my legs and call me Shorty!" confused me.

CalMeacham
04-20-2007, 01:09 PM
There are other similar expressions, though, and just because this one seems to make some kinda sense doesn't mean it's original, or unrelated to the others. It seems to be a general expression of surprise -- so what's thet got to do with being a newborn? I have an example from the mid-1960s that's always amazed and amused me:


"Well pour me out and call me buttermilk"



I've never seen it before or since, but it's clearly built along the same lines as the other examples.

Duckster
04-20-2007, 02:21 PM
We have a welcome mat outside our door that says, "Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit."

It's there until the end of the month when my wife puts out the welcome mat for May. (Yes, at least one for each month.)

Elendil's Heir
04-20-2007, 02:32 PM
I've heard the phrases, "I didn't just fall off the turnip truck, y'know," or "I may have been born at night, but I wasn't born last night" for when you think someone's trying to take advantage of you.

vibrotronica
04-20-2007, 02:37 PM
My favorite variation is "Well paint me purple and call me stupid!"

I say that all the time.

Gadarene
04-20-2007, 02:43 PM
Balki on Perfect Strangers once used the charming expression, "Well, feed me garlic and call me stinky!"

samclem
04-20-2007, 09:30 PM
I'm of the opinion that "slap my ass and call me XXX" originated in the 1980's.

It only appears in Google Groups in 1990, but GG goes back to 1981. If it were that common in the 1980's, it would probably appear at least once on there.

"Do something to me and call me xxx" is found at least as early as 1940, as I found a comic strip where a character said "Hit me on the head and call me shorty."

SpectBrain
04-20-2007, 10:05 PM
I googled on the phrase "well * "and call me" *

and found the following ( not an exclusive list, I just listed some that I think are funny)

Well Love me tender and call me Elvis

Well shut my mouth and call me luggage

Well . . Paint my toenails and call me Mabel

Well, buy me slippers and call me Dorothy

Well, strip my gears and call me shiftless

Well, Wet My Feet and Call Me Ducky

Well slap my forehead and call me stupid

Well feed me nails and call me rusty

Well, rub my belly and call me Buddha

Well, tickle my giblets and call me Butterball

stuyguy
04-20-2007, 11:39 PM
I think you'll find the expression originated in the phrase, "Well, slap my ass and call me Sally."

Sally was a common name for a mule/donkey/ass back in the day. (No, not the 1960s. I meant "back in the day," as in the 1860s and earlier.) You got such a beast of burden moving by slapping it in the butt.

The expression was a lighthearted way of calling oneself a fool -- or more aptly, an ass.

Red Barchetta
04-21-2007, 02:04 AM
I've always heard it as "Well, slap my ass and call me Charlie

spinky
04-21-2007, 02:45 AM
One vote for "well, fuck me and call me Susan"

UltraRik
07-30-2011, 07:39 PM
its from friends t show - season 1 episode 15

DooWahDiddy
07-30-2011, 09:16 PM
its from friends t show - season 1 episode 15

So you answered two threads about smacking your ass and calling you Judy, one from 2003 and one from 2007. No offense, but what were you searching for?