Friday, 8 April 2011

First, ‘To Glass’ Became A Verb…

…now, we have ‘to bottle’:
A teenager found at home with serious head injuries could have been bottled hours earlier in Canterbury Road Recreation Ground.
Don’t you just love how language changes..?

19 comments:

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

I first came across the verb to bottle in Newham in 1977. It was very much in common usage in the area at the time.

Gary C. Sawyer said...

"Bottled" is used as a euphemism for drunk in Agatha Christie's "The Body In The Library" (1942).

Edwin Greenwood said...

Geezers have been bottlin' each other dahn my manor for decades, gel.

Mind you, those fiddle-arsing little 33cl bottles that Corona and Sol and similar poof's beers come in don't really cut the mustard, innit. You need a good half-litre or pint bottle to get a bit of weight behind it.

So I've heard.

staybryte said...

Got to say both terms have been in common use as a verb for ever in my experience.

Richard said...

Heard both in Leeds in the 1960s, along with 'nut' (to headbutt) and 'lamp' (to hit with the fist).

Incidentally, much better than even a real man's beer bottle is the traditional dimpled beer mug. I have been on the receiving end of one of these and they can do a lot of damage. Fortunately, I was attacked from behind, so the scars are hidden by my hair, for as long as it lasts. The thin-walled beer glasses which have led to the term 'glassing' were, paradoxically, favoured by many pubs as a safer alternative to the dimpled variety.

Happy days.

James Higham said...

... at times and with certain additions to the lexicon.

Chalcedon said...

Funny that. "He bottled it" meant he lost his nerve. Now "she bottled him" means she hit him over the head with a bottle (serious depressed fracture of the skull no doubt). English truly is a stupendous language. I doubt a non-native speaker could see the difference when using bottled. Of course if "it's bottled" means that it has been placed within a bottle. Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Actually I think the "differences in use" follow on logically one from the other - if you accept that "to bottle someone" is to unflict damage on them well, if you are faced with having to "indulge in some physical manifestation of your courage" but unfortunately "have lost your bottle" well that might cause you to consider that you had lost some potential advantage and were thinking that discretion had become the better part of valour" and hence "bottled it" - and I am used to hearing that someone had "bottled out from " .. There is some interesting stuff in Partridge about "bottle" which includes "to get a bottle" and "bottling" - for example "Get a bottle" being Navy slang from the 1920s meaning "to receive a reprimand" - which would appear to link nicely with "give someone a bottling" in the literal sense .. and "to turn out no bottle" being used in the 1880's to describe someone who had "failed" especially in a sporting context .. a good read, some dictionaries ..

Richard said...

Partridge, Gowers, Fowler, Brewer ...

Essential library material for the smallest room.

Ancient and tattered airman said...

And 'bottling it up' used to mean 'to keep all ones woes to oneself', and not letting anyone else know.

blueknight said...

cockney rhyming slang, bottle of beer = fear. So a person who had a lot of bottle had a lot of fear.
Over the years the meaning was reversed.
Where I went to school a hard rap on the top of the head with a knuckles down fist was known as a 'coconut'. And any male unfortunate enough to receive a punch 'below the belt'was said the have been 'knackered'.

Anonymous said...

don't matter anyway, we will all be kettled if things don't change.

Brian said...

Are people ever tinned?

JuliaM said...

" It was very much in common usage in the area at the time."

Oh, agreed. It's just that I'm not used to seeing in in a newspaper, even a local one!

"You need a good half-litre or pint bottle to get a bit of weight behind it."

:D

"Are people ever tinned?"

If the Greens have their way, Soylent Green will be on the menu soon, so I think the answer will then be 'Yes'...

NickM said...

During WWII the Germans had anti-personnel mines that were spring-loaded so as to explode at roughly waist height.

The GIs called them "Jumping Jacks". Our lot called them "de-bollockers".

If this country still has one thing going for it we are still the most creative tormentors of the English language.

Especially us Geordies. And the Mancs, and the Cockneys and the Glaswegians and...

My Grandmother (From Durham) was fond of using the phrase (when she objected strongly to something), "It's neither fair nor right - like the darkie's left tit". I commend this to the audience as the least PC statement conceivable.

If anything remains of us let it be the language of my late Gran and Viz and indeed Shakespeare.

Oh, and by the way my Gran did once nearly bottle someone in the '50s. My mother recalls it. My Gran's little sister had been beaten by a scrote of a boyf and my Gran (all 5'0" of her) got in a skirling rage, smashed a two pint Villa pop-bottle on the step and proceeded down the road with jagged-edged murderous intent. She didn't use it because he begged and wheedled and then wept. He did this after having sought "sanctuary" in a random house.

He never bothered my Great Aunt again though. Though whether that was my Gran's histrionics or the fact my Grandfather - 6'1" of hard as nails Durham miner had a quiet word in his shell like is alas lost to family history. What is true is this ruffian, scared out of his wits sort sanctuary in the house of another pitman who was on my Grandad's shift. His missus at first wanted them all out with the threat of the broom but my Grandad (a foreman) knew the lad and the fella said, "Relax wifey man, it's me mucka Geordie Tough!" and sat back and supped a beer whilst watching the action. Very few people had TV back then.

And yes, my Grandad was called George "Geordie" Tough. And yes, he was hard as nails well into his later life until Parkinson's disease pole-axed him.

NickM said...

I once saw someone tinned. This was at Ryton Comprehensive School and this scrote (Heppell) had acted-up once too often and my mate broke his nose with an unopened Coke can. There was blood and snot like everywhere. It was a joy to behold and done so slyly. Mr Spence if you are reading this I am in awe of that subtle but devastating blow.

Brian said...

@ NickM: Many thanks for the tinning anecdote. Have you seen any other food containers used to inflict violence? I've seen someone floored with a frozen leg of lamb in Iceland (in Coventry). It's same to assume that the assailant wasn't inspired by one of Roald Dahl's Tales Of The Unexpected.

staybryte said...

Brian,

Which Iceland in Coventry?

I'd guess at the one in town. The Cannon Park branch lacks a certain vibrancy.....

JuliaM said...

"If this country still has one thing going for it we are still the most creative tormentors of the English language. "

It's not much of a legacy, when you consider all we've lost. But hell, I'll take it!

"I've seen someone floored with a frozen leg of lamb in Iceland (in Coventry). It's same to assume that the assailant wasn't inspired by one of Roald Dahl's Tales Of The Unexpected."

Ahhh, one of my favourite episodes, that one... ;)