what are the origins of the phrase - Every Swinging Dick

Dad was First Sergeant of his Squadron and I heard this phrase a lot growing up.

I’m fairly sure it’s military in origin but haven’t found a cite. It’s normally used to convey a sense of urgency. Like a large transport truck stuck in the mud. “I want every swinging dick out here pushing! Now!” Meaning* everybody* get out and push.

Obviously this was before the troops went coed. :wink: Winking Labia doesn’t have quite the colorful ring to it as swinging dick. :stuck_out_tongue:

I checked Word Detective. No luck. Anyone else have the Google skills to find a cite? Origins and when it became a popular phrase?

Not quite the same phrase, but around here, sometimes “Big Swinging Mickey” is used to mean “Big deal”.

“Mickey” is juvenile slang for penis in Ireland, not sure if it’s used in the same way elsewhere.

The first time I heard of the phrase was in the boom of the mid-1980’s; I think it was one of the Michael Lewis books about Wall Street where the rich and successful brokers and deal makers, were referred to as “Big Swinging Dicks”; i.e. they felt they were self-important and had something to be proud of.

It simply means that every guy on the squad/team needs to pitch in. It’s normally used in male-only contexts, like (formerly) the military, construction, etc.

It’s merely a colorful example of synecdoche, in which the part (swinging dick) stands for the whole (male). The “swinging” part probably suggests that the guys need to be on the run.

Sounds fine to me

I heard it mentioned in No Country for Old Men (the movie). I wasn’t around when that phrase was in common use.

In the movie, Moss gives the clerk at the hotel a bit of money to let him know if “any swingin’ dick” comes through the hotel (this was in the middle of the night). I took it to mean any man who was alone or with another man or two. Women, or men accompanying women (since their dick wouldn’t be swingin, if you know what i mean) were not what Moss was looking for.

It was in common use when I joined the military in 1967, so I’m sure it’s been around a very long time.

Insert Mickey Mouse pants joke here.

I think it has been around for a long time indeed.

I think that the following passage from the bible might be a possible antecedent of the phrase:

Or in other words, he (David) killed every swinging dick in the place.

Oops, correction. That quote referred to a different king of Isreal.

This is the one I was originally thinking of. The phrase occurs several places in the bible.

I saw it when I read “Liar’s Poker” about the author’s days at Salomon. I think the phrase predates that by quite a bit though.

Very interesting. I hadn’t seen the phrase pisseth against the wall before.

Hence Epic Mickey being the funniest videogame title ever, from an Irish perspective.

Read your Bible!(At least the King James Version, which uses it six times. My father used to enjoy quoting the phrase.)

Now there’s a whole thread in itself. Anyone game?

I first heard the phrase in Oliver Stone’s ‘Platoon’ (I know it predates that), and my god, it was the funniest thing I’d heard in a long time. It was kind of serious scene but how I laughed…