View Single Post
Old 09-03-2009, 09:25 PM
samclem samclem is offline
Graphite is a great
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 26,202
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
What you hear nowdays doesn't always mean that's where it started or meant when it started.

Case in point, the "that sucks" you hear today probably started/came from "sucks to be you" from the turn of the Century. Probably not sexual at all.
Originally Posted by Bayard View Post
No kidding? That completely surprises me. But that seems to be predicated on "sucks" having some negative meaning at the Turn of the Century. Was "sucks" used in other contexts then (other than sucking on candy or nipples or whatever)?
From the OED.

A sycophant; esp. a schoolboy who curries favour with teachers. Cf. SUCK v. 26e; sucker-up s.v. SUCKER n. 14.

1900 FARMER Public School Word-Bk. 197 Suck, subs. (University), a parasite, a toady. 1907 B. M. CROKER Company's Servant xx. 213 He was just a suckthat's all. 1916 JOYCE Portrait of Artist (1969) i. 11 We all know why you speak. You are McGlade's suck. 1955 W. GADDIS Recognitions II. ii. 373 The shade of the boy whom he had not seen since they were boys together (Martin was Father Joseph's ‘suck’) lived on the air as though they had parted only minutes before.
11. pl. as int. Used as an expression of contempt, chiefly by children. Also in phr. sucks to you and varr. slang.

1913 C. MACKENZIE Sinister Street I. I. vii. 98 This kid's in our army, so sucks! 1922 F. HAMILTON P.J.: Secret Service Boy iv. 178 ‘S’, he announced, ‘u,c,k,s,t,o,y,o,u.’ 1935 N. MITCHISON We have been Warned I. 28 Brian is a baby. Oh sucks, oh sucks on Brian. 1945 E. WAUGH Brideshead Revisited II. v. 287 It's great sucks to Bridey. 1952 ‘C. BRAND’ London Particular xv. 191 A most regretable air of sucks to you. 1968 Melody Maker 30 Nov. 24/5 This is a rotten recordyah boo and sucks. 1974 Times 4 Mar. 9/5 Sucks boo, then, with acting like this, to that new National Theatre down the road. 1978 ‘J. LYMINGTON’ Waking of Stone ii. 45 ‘Sucks to you!’ she said..tossing her head so her pigtails swung. 1983 Listener 19 May 11/1 The council treated the urbane Mr Cook to the politician's equivalent of ‘Yah, boo, sucks’.