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#127896 04/28/04 11:06 PM
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hanema Offline OP
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I heard a new phrase used in the following sentence: "He blessed him out." It's meaning is apparently to tell someone off. I found uses in a variety of literature and diaries from the Civil War on the Internet but no information on origins. Any ideas?



#127897 04/28/04 11:28 PM
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welcome, hanema!

well, that's a new one on me. did you hear it in person, or in the media somewhere? the meaning seems contradictory to me, as I would usually think of blessing someone as a good thing.
looking forward to hearing what turns up.
Father Steve might have a few good words...



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#127898 04/28/04 11:50 PM
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hanema Offline OP
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Heard it in person but did some checking around the office (in Virginia) and on the web. It's a real phrase but it does seem contradictory doesn't it? Got to find the origin of this!


#127899 04/29/04 12:11 AM
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well, it hasn't shown up here yet:
http://www.urbandictionary.com/browse.php?character=BL
so somebody's on the cutting edge of history...

edit well, I did a search there for blessed, and my what a couple of interesting definitions. neither which are the usage you cited. one, uh, should be prepared...


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#127900 04/29/04 02:00 AM
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hanema Offline OP
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I found a quote from the late Rev. Benjamin T. Roberts, General Superintendent Of The Free Methodist Church, that expounds on Job 1:21 --"The Lord gave; and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord." Roberts added this explanation: "He blessed the Lord in his affliction, and the Lord blessed him out of his affliction. His latter state was better than his first."

Another passage in a secular work on happiness renders this usage that seems more in line with your meaning: "When I asked a distraught mother what she did when her little ragamuffin tramped through her kitchen leaving a muddy trail to mark his progress to the bathroom, she replied, "I gave him a good shaking and blessed him out!" That hardly indicates a happy state of affairs."

On yet another web site there are recorded passages from diaries and such giving accounts of Palmer's (later Havis's) Battery's participation in Gen. John Hunt Morgan's Christmas Raid into Kentucky in December 1862. Note: "After a while this boy hollered to Sgt. Duncan "Here he is behind a tree". I didn't cuss him but I blessed him out and got up and went to the officers' tent." This passage leads me to believe that "blessed him out" is perhaps an old Southern expression meaning to tell someone off without cursing at them or using unsavory language.

I also found usage of it in out takes from the Mel Gibson movie "The Patriot" along the same lines as your usage. I found "blessed him out royally," "blessed him out good and proper," "blessed him out publicly," and "blessed him out good."



#127901 04/29/04 05:04 AM
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Father Steve might have a few good words...

This is a totally new phrase to me. I speak some Southern American English but have never heard this phrase.


#127902 04/29/04 05:33 AM
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Gracious, etaoin. Do you suppose this is a frequent occurrence? Given the furore over Ms. Jackson's mishap, I would've thought the constabulary would have been quick to intervene.

Bingley


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#127903 04/29/04 06:12 AM
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dxb Offline
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Hanema - that is an unusual name I think. I have only met with it once before in a series of moderately amusing sword and sorcery detective books about a guy called Thraxas, written by Martin Scott. Hanema is an efficient lady assassin in the series.

http://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/thraxas.html


#127904 04/29/04 08:00 AM
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This passage leads me to believe that "blessed him out" is perhaps an old Southern expression meaning to tell someone off without cursing at them or using unsavory language.

I think you've got it there, Hanema. I grew up in the South and the expression is quite familiar to me. Looks like "bless him out" is a euphemism for "cuss him out" which, I guess, is a euphemism its own self.


#127905 04/29/04 09:19 AM
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Father Steve, I was thinking in terms of the more familiar usage of "blessing"...

and Bingley, yeah, one would think, wouldn't one? I sure haven't noticed it happening, thank goodness...



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