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The Origin of Thank-you-ma'am?

 
 
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 01:26 am
Thank-you-ma'am means "a bump or depression in a road". But does anyone here know why a bump or depression of a road could be called "thank-you-ma'am"? Here I try to guess it with my imagination (no doubt the knowledge of my etymology is poor now, so show your rich imagination please).
Once upon a time, there is a gentleman who is sitting in a carriage with several kissable ladies to take a trip from London to country. He really wants to kiss one of them, but finds no chance to do so. When the carriage has been away the smooth streets of London, and driving on the rough surface of a road of country, which is full of bumps and depressions, the pretty ladies become involuntarily wavering and sometimes bump gently into the gentleman, who, of course, enjoys the gentle bumps with great joy. No wonder, the gentleman thus calls a bump/depression in a road "thank-you-ma'am" since then.
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McTag
 
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 01:32 am
I bet that's right, and very imaginitively put, if I may say so.
I had never heard of that expression until now.
Obliged.
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mutmut3
 
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 06:09 am
How about speed bumps? I've heard them call them "sleeping policemen" .
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Grand Duke
 
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 06:23 am
mutmut3 wrote:
How about speed bumps? I've heard them call them "sleeping policemen" .


That was a very common usage here in the UK, but alas the tide has turned in favour of 'speed-bumps'. Which is a shame, I think.

As for 'Thank-you ma'am', is there any link with the phrase 'Wham! Bam! Thank-you ma'am', perhaps the bang/impact the car makes as it hits the pothole?
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roger
 
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 07:22 am
Maybe cuz when you hit one, your car and contents go "Wham-Bam?"
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oristarA
 
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 07:45 am
I checked out Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, and it indicates --
thank-you-ma'am n [prob. fr. its causing a nodding of the head] (1849).
If so, thank-you-sir works too Smile . But blimey, there is no thank-you-sir in any dictionary.
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McTag
 
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 03:08 pm
WBTYM connotes a rapid act of sexual congress, does it not...which might or might not be done in a moving vehicle on a bumpy road?
But I think we are getting two different things mixed up.
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roger
 
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 03:20 pm
No, really, McTag. A quick bump and on your way, sailor.
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