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Old 26 April 2008, 10:09 PM
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James G James G is offline
 
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Default "Gagging for a..."

Over in another post I was about to use the phrase 'gagging for a fight' when I suddenly has doubts about the origin of the phrase. After all, its usually used in reference to sex, "They're gagging for it" and suddenly I realised that the mental imagery that this evokes is somewhat troublesome.

I imagine this is something that has been plain to everyone else for ever, but for me its one of those "Oooooohhhhhh!" moments.

Am I wrong, or will this be another phrase that I'll have to try and excise from my vocabulary? (Along with hysterical. Gah! There are times when ignorance makes things so much easier. )
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  #2  
Old 27 April 2008, 02:33 PM
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Richard W Richard W is offline
 
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Did you know that a "gag" in the sense of a joke was originally an improvised aside by a stage actor? I just found that in Brewers.

According to The Cassell Dictionary of Slang, it is "gag" in the sense of "choke", so "choking for it". It doesn't say why, though. My other books of slang phrases are too genteel to mention it.
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Old 27 April 2008, 02:51 PM
Jay Tea Jay Tea is offline
 
 
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Gagging as in 'gagging for air', implying a certain desperation, perhaps the ultimate desperation. I'm assuming onomatopoeia explains 'gagging' in this sense.
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Old 27 April 2008, 03:06 PM
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Now a regoinal thing:

I've never heard "gagging" for more than gagging someone, say a journalist with a publication ban etc.

In my experience, it was always "itching for a fight" or "gasping for air".

Gagging is a new one to me.
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  #5  
Old 27 April 2008, 03:31 PM
zephyra
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
Now a regoinal thing:

I've never heard "gagging" for more than gagging someone, say a journalist with a publication ban etc.

In my experience, it was always "itching for a fight" or "gasping for air".

Gagging is a new one to me.
Me, too. I've never heard this expression.
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Old 27 April 2008, 04:24 PM
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DH loved to use this phrase when he first moved here as it caused quite a few funny looks: I'm gasping for a fag.
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Old 27 April 2008, 11:07 PM
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I just asked DH if he ever used the phrase "gagging for" and he said, "what, like gagging for a shag?". I've never heard him say that, but I guess he has at some point
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Old 27 April 2008, 11:14 PM
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It does seem to be rather UK specific.
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Old 27 April 2008, 11:18 PM
Jay Tea Jay Tea is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daphodil View Post
I just asked DH if he ever used the phrase "gagging for" and he said, "what, like gagging for a shag?". I've never heard him say that, but I guess he has at some point
...or at some point had the misfortune to watch an Austin Powers movie
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  #10  
Old 28 April 2008, 03:50 AM
moonfall moonfall is offline
 
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I thought this was going to be about the phrase "gag me with a spoon."
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  #11  
Old 09 May 2008, 08:11 PM
kajerayn kajerayn is offline
 
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I've always heard it as "gunning for a fight" rather than "gagging".
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