Song Lyrics Question About Grease

Hi SD,

How many times have I accompanied the show “Grease” on piano? Dozens. And yet, I still have this question. In “Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” the mocking song Rizzo sings about Sandy, she states: “As for you, Troy Donahue, I know what you wanna do, you’ve got your crust, I’m no object of lust, I’m just plain Sandra Dee.”

What does that lyric mean “You’ve got your crust?” I have never heard that word used in that context before. I’ve heard of crusty old men, but I equate that to grizzled and/or grouchy or hardhearted.



I think they were really reaching for a rhyme here, but a quick check of the Internet shows that “crusty” can also mean rude or unfriendly:

I can see where having a crust would be roughly equivalent to being hard-boiled, in the sense of uncouth or not genteel.

I always took the old idiom to mean “nerve” as in “He’s got a lot of crust acting like that.”

That’s another idea, but what about “your”? “You’ve got your crust” seems to mean crust is a physical thing. If it was “You’ve got a crust” it might imply something more akin to “you’ve got a lot of balls.” “Or you’ve got an STD.” I don’t know. Either way, definitely a reach. I am pretty positive none of the Rizzos I ever accompanied knew what the hell they were singing.


Yeah I think that’s it. “As for you, Troy Donahue, I know what you wanna do [but] you’ve got your nerve. I’m no object of lust, I’m just plain Sandra Dee.”

Well, yeah, telling someone they have a lot of nerve generally implies they are rude, uncouth, and not genteel.

I seem to remember my older brother using “crust” in this pejorative sense 50+ years ago, but don’t think I’ve ever heard it since.

I recall hearing the word “crust” used interchangeably with “nerve” back in the 60’s. I believe I saw it used in Superman comic books from the 1950’s, too.

I have no idea where this comes from or why I think it, but I’ve always interpreted it to mean “you’re a wealthy person” or someone who’s entitled to get whatever they want, and she’s saying “… but you can’t have me”. Again, absolutely no idea why.

Probably because “upper crust” is a term used to mean “upper class”.

Thanks Qadgop! Good to know I didn’t pull that completely out of my rear end.

noun: Bold audacity; gall; chutzpa: You’ve got a hell of a crust assuming I’ll go down there (1890s+)

In Robert Heinlein’s juvenile novel, The Star Beast, one character tells another, “You’ve got the crust of a bakery pie.” He’s using this word to mean “nerve”. This book was published in 1954.