PDA

View Full Version : Etymology of the phrase "gone clear", meaning "died"


F. U. Shakespeare
10-08-2006, 11:52 AM
I take part in a music forum dedicated to resonator guitar (Dobro), and people there have used this phrase a few times, most recently in reference to bluegrass Dobro legend Josh Graves, who died last week.

Someone asked about the phrase's etymology, and no one was really sure. It was suggested that it had roots in the West Virginia-Ohio region (although, FWIW, I'm from WV, and never heard it).

Anyone know?

samclem
10-08-2006, 12:57 PM
It evidently means "gone clear of this world" at least that's a person's take on it in this message board exchange.. http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:idZJfFe6vzYJ:www.jerrydouglas.com/BBDetail.cfm%3FMessArch__ID%3D168+%22gone+clear%22+died+phrase&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=12

jjimm
10-08-2006, 01:27 PM
Do you think that this is what Leonard Cohen means in Famous Blue Raincoat (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/l/leonard+cohen/famous+blue+raincoat_20082860.html)?Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair
She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear
Did you ever go clear? I don't know why I find that song so haunting. If he's asking the guy if he killed himself, that makes it even more haunting.

Qadgop the Mercotan
10-08-2006, 01:29 PM
It's not from the Scientology concept of "clear"?

Kinda like us AA members describing a deceased member as "forever sober"?

Q.E.D.
10-08-2006, 01:33 PM
Kinda like us AA members describing a deceased member as "forever sober"?
Yeah, I was thinking it was something along those lines. Ham operators will say a deceased peer has gone "silent key".

samclem
10-08-2006, 02:21 PM
It's not from the Scientology concept of "clear"?

Kinda like us AA members describing a deceased member as "forever sober"? Many of the Google cites I found were related to Scientology. But I don't know if it was a coincidence.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.