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Old 16 June 2014, 09:57 PM
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Flame You're toast

Comment: According to the author at this site, the first time anyone user
the expression, "You're toast!" to mean wasted or destroyed, was Bill
Murray in 1984's Ghostbusters:

http://arts.nationalpost.com/2014/06...out-the-movie/

The New York Times claims the earliest anyone said it was 1987:

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/04/20/ma...-is-toast.html

So: Is Bill Murray the author of the use of the word 'toast' to describe
someone being in trouble?
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Old 16 June 2014, 10:33 PM
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According to the OED, sort of:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OED
colloq. (orig. U.S.). A person or thing that is defunct, dead, finished, in serious trouble, etc. Freq. in proleptic use, esp. in you're (also I'm, we're, etc.) toast : you (I, we, etc.) will soon be dead, in trouble, etc. Cf. history n.
The lines in quot. 1983 do not in fact appear in the U.S. film Ghostbusters as released in 1985, since a considerable amount of the dialogue is ad-libbed. The actual words spoken by Venkman (played by Bill Murray) as he prepares to fire a laser-type weapon, are, ‘This chick is toast’; this is prob. the origin of the proleptic construction which has gained particular currency.

1983 D. Aykroyd & H. Ramis Ghostbusters (film script, third draft) 123 Venkman..: Okay. That's it! I'm gonna turn this guy into toast.
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Old 20 June 2014, 04:17 PM
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I seem to remember it from before Ghostbusters; I had always thought it came from football announcers (at least that's where I remember it from). When a reciever beats a defensive back, getting open to catch a pass for a long gain, announcers have long described that as "burning" the defensive back. Somewhere along the line, somebody said, "He's burnt like toast," and that got shortened to "He's toast."

That's my completely unsupported, vaguely remembered anecdote, and I'm sticking to it!
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Old 20 June 2014, 04:28 PM
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Baseball

I first heard it in Germany in the mid-80s, right around Ghostbusters time.

I always thought it was a morphing of the German "tot", meaning dead.

Never actually thought it would be anything other than that.

Goes to show how "alternate sources" and "possible roots" can be derived hundreds of years later in other instances.
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Old 25 June 2014, 10:54 PM
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If I thought of it at all, I always assumed it was another take on "roast" or "roasted", as in verbally attacking someone. "He's roasted" somehow became "He's toast."
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Old 26 June 2014, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
According to the OED, sort of:
I have a print shorter OED from 1955. It doesn't give that meaning as such, but it does give "to have (a person) on toast" as slang for "to have at one's mercy", which might be related. It doesn't give a date or location for that usage.

I could swear that I've heard "to be toast" in the sense of "to be finished off, rendered dead and/or unable to function" considerably before the 1980's; but it's possible my memory's not accurate about that. It seems to make a sort of sense in my head that I'm having trouble spelling out here -- something to do with being finished off in the sense of cooked, re-cooked, and ready to be eaten.
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Old 26 June 2014, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pob14 View Post
I seem to remember it from before Ghostbusters; I had always thought it came from football announcers (at least that's where I remember it from). When a reciever beats a defensive back, getting open to catch a pass for a long gain, announcers have long described that as "burning" the defensive back. Somewhere along the line, somebody said, "He's burnt like toast," and that got shortened to "He's toast."

That's my completely unsupported, vaguely remembered anecdote, and I'm sticking to it!
Also from memory, but Bill Parcells nicknamed one of his defensive backs "Toast" because he was disgusted with the DB getting burned so much. It would have been mid-80's though.
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