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  #1  
Old 06-08-2006, 09:04 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Origin of Idiomatic Phrase "... not so much."

For the last couple of years I've seen increasing use of the idiom "not so much" used as a comparative. Typically the sentence is structured something like "I like watching hockey. Football, not so much."

The true meaning seeems to be damning with faint praise, where "not so much" is pronounced with a smidgin of dismissive contempt and the intended meaning is closer to "football sux" than "football is less interesting than hockey."

Where did this come from? Who or what first popularized it? When?
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2006, 09:13 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Jon Stewart of The Daily Show uses it very often. He'd seem the most likely source for the popularity.
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  #3  
Old 06-08-2006, 09:14 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Comedian Paul Reiser used this heavily in his act, which would place it back into the 1980s. I've noticed lots of other comics, especially Jon Stewart, pick up on this usage.
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:06 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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And I suspect it's a Yidishism, like "consequenses, schmonsequences". But Paul Reiser used it heavily on "Mad About You".
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:15 PM
Stainz Stainz is offline
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My answer was also going to be Paul Reiser.
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  #6  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:51 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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[WAG]It sounds like a Yiddish phrasing to me [/WAG] -- and both Paul Reiser and Jon Stewart are Jewish.
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  #7  
Old 06-09-2006, 07:12 AM
SkeptiJess SkeptiJess is offline
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I first heard it on Mad About You.
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:30 AM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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I think I heard him say it on My Two Dads.
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2006, 08:45 AM
Sir Prize Sir Prize is offline
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I also associate Paul Reiser with this idiom.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2006, 11:21 AM
Turek Turek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess
I first heard it on Mad About You.
Seconded. Or thirded, or whatever the count is up to.
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  #11  
Old 06-09-2006, 11:30 AM
Eve Eve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark
And I suspect it's a Yidishism, like "consequenses, schmonsequences".
Yep, it's been used in my family way before Paul Reiser or Jon Stewart ever toddled in front of a TV camera. Definitely a Yiddishism that's worked its way into the mainstream, like "It couldn't hurt," "feh," etc.

(no, not "etc." You know what I mean.)
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:31 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster
both Paul Reiser and Jon Stewart are Jewish.
Which makes them both quite rare among American comedians.
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:08 PM
twickster twickster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves
Which makes them both quite rare among American comedians.
Well, it makes them more apt to pick up a Yiddish phrasing.
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  #14  
Old 06-09-2006, 12:16 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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I don't know if there's any similar usage in Yiddish as mentioned, but this sounds like something they would say in Minnesota.
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  #15  
Old 06-09-2006, 12:31 PM
Don Logan Don Logan is offline
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Borat famously used it when interviewing an old southern dude at a wine tasting- he asked the guy if the (black) butler was his slave, the guy said no, we don't have slaves here anymore, "and that's good", which Borat correctly interpreted as
"good for him, but for you- not so much".
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  #16  
Old 06-09-2006, 01:00 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eve
(no, not "etc." You know what I mean.)
That was Yul Bryner in "The King and I". Funny, he didn't look Jewish.

;j
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