March 23, 2013

Taking the high road.

"It is ridiculous and not really funny at all. I’d appreciate you taking the high road and not resorting to something childish like this that’s been blogged about 1,000 times."

ADDED: The linked article prompted me to research the history of the term "to go commando." The Oxford English Dictionary traces it to 1974:
slang (orig. U.S.). to go commando  : to wear no underpants (beneath one's clothing).
The origin of this use is obscure; the allusion appears to be to commandos' reputation for action, toughness, or resourcefulness rather than to any specific practice.
1974   Current U.N.C. Slang (Univ. N. Carolina, Chapel Hill) (typescript) Spring,   Go commando, to be without underwear.
1985   Chicago Tribune (Nexis) 22 Jan. c,   Colored briefs are ‘sleazy’ and going without underwear (‘going commando’, as they say on campus) is simply gross.
2001   Guardian 7 June ii. 8/2   Thank goodness he wasn't wearing a pair of sagging Y-fronts or, much worse, a thong. Thank goodness he wasn't going commando.
2004   J. Evanovich Ten Big Ones 186   Unless Ranger kept his underwear in his safe, it appeared that he went commando.

33 comments:

Mitchell the Bat said...

I think Mad Men is a very good show and I've seen every episode. When people ask me why, the short answer is it's like going back in time to when I was a little kid full of questions about what the adults were up to and nobody would give me a straight answer. It's like getting some answers, finally.

Reading gossip shit like that just plain out fucking hurts, like I'm some kind of a fucking idiot for taking the show somewhat seriously, as if it were artistically valid.

Point made, Althouse. Congratulations.

Oso Negro said...

1001.

Shouting Thomas said...

You didn't take the high road. You wrote about it.

His girl friend was smiling. I thought size didn't matter.

Bob Ellison said...

Is this the right thread in which to bring up the subject of gerbils?

Pogo said...

In contrast, I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

sydney said...

Ah, now there's a manly male actor. Thank you.

Aridog said...

All I wonder about is why Huff Post and Confidential think anyone shy of a San Fran bath house should give a shit about Jon Hamm's gnarly dick. Or any dick, let alone some entertainment twits nasty genital gash flashed.

Ann Althouse said...

"You didn't take the high road. You wrote about it."

Oh, no! Really???

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

And this would be called 'Camel Tail?'

Aridog said...

Oh, no! Really?

Actually, no not really. You said zip, nothing, nada ... just posted it ala' Drudge....e.g., like bait. And like bait to fish, we respond.

Good job.

Bob Ellison said...

Bart Simpson said "There's nothing like an unfurnished basement for pure comfort."

The Drill SGT said...

74?
How about a connection to Vietnam where grunts (e.g. Infantrymen) had severe problems with crotch rot due to cotton drawers that would not dry out for a week at a time in 100 degree, 100% humidity...

going commando was an answer.

e.g. "letting it all hang out"

David said...

He's not as impressive as they are telling him he is.

EDH said...

The origin of this use is obscure; the allusion appears to be to commandos' reputation for action, toughness, or resourcefulness rather than to any specific practice.

I always assumed it was called that because Commandos go into battle "without cover" or support.

Aridog said...

Oy. By her "addition" Althouse took her own bait.

The Drill SGT is correct...nothing compares to 100 degree heat in a Monsoon rain that never seems to end. If you have never lived mostly out of doors in a tropical Monsoon you have no real idea of just what the word "wet" means. And every single last parasite and bacteria on Earth thrives on it in the even warmer nether regions of your body.

Expat(ish) said...

@ann - you should check out the definition of "balls out" - it's got an interesting derivation.

And is somewhat related to going commando.

-XC

SGT Ted said...

The proper, original term is to "go Regimental".

Which refers to the Scots Regiments tradition of wearing the kilt with no underwear. When underwear is worn with the kilt, it causes chafing during long marches. So, they don't wear it, thus the term.

It has since morphed to "go commando", most likely a similar reference for the same reasons. I know I quit wearing it after a particularly painful 20 mile road march.

rcommal said...

Cocked and ready, baby!

rcommal said...

Far be it from me to eschew the obvious, low road or not.

Christy said...

Ranger! Ah, be still my beating heart. Who knew the OED had a sense of humor, and a punning one at that?

Shouting Thomas said...

Far be it from me to eschew the obvious, low road or not.

If your es-chewing on the dick, gay marriage cannot be far off.

Phil 3:14 said...

Wow Pogo, TS Eliot. But I don't understand the reference to the Professor's post.

Michael K said...

Is this "low information voter" day ?

Big Mike said...

Elastic exposed to heat will melt. Back in Vietnam days guys went without underpants to avoid the possibility of having their elastic waistbands melted into their skin if munitions went off near them. Back then I was told that it's a trick the British commandos of World War II figured out first.

edutcher said...

Could it be that, although it can't be said of Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"'s rating are starting to sag and they need more women watching?

Ann Althouse said...

@Big Mike That sounds so urban legend-y. The OED can't trace it back like that. I don't believe it.

Big Mike said...

@Professor, I'm just telling you what I was told back then. During my hitch in the service I (thankfully!) never received orders for Vietnam.

Another potential source of the term is from Merrill's Marauders during WWII, an American commando unit fighting in Burma, who supposedly got rid of their underpants and cut the back out of their pants so they could continue to fight while surrounded and suffering from dysentery.

But it is true that elastic exposed to heat will burn its way into your skin.

Petunia said...

Meh. He's probably a show-er, not a grower. And it's just kind of sad in an exhibitionist way.

Synova said...

"The OED can't trace it back like that. I don't believe it."

Can the OED trace anything that wasn't written down?

I certainly knew what "commando" meant when I was in high school (late 1970s-early 80s) and it wasn't obscure. Also, I was pretty sheltered and there were a whole lot of slang I never knew and wouldn't get. But I knew "commando."

It's pretty much got to have a military connection, right? But it just means that going without underwear means you're tough like a commando, and not that commandos (or military guys) went without underwear?

I mean... who would write it down? And if some doctor in Vietnam wrote that GIs would go without underwear because of crotch rot and maybe had some idea that uncomfortable elastic was actually a safety issue because it would melt to you, someone would still have had to write down someplace "and we called this "going commando" instead of "the men have taken to going without underwear."

People who served in Vietnam are still alive, well, and talking. I consider first hand or even second hand accounts to be as trustworthy as the OED.

Methadras said...

My wife told me about this last night and looked at her and sais, "So, you are going to be anticipating looking through all the re-runs right?" and laughed.

Robin said...

Like Big Mike, I'd heard the reference to Merrill's Marauders' problems with dysentery in the Burma campaign in WWII.

wyo sis said...

I guess this mad man guy has dysentery or is worried about bombs going off in his vicinity. It's hard to imagine toughness and resourcefulness is in his skill set.

Marcus Hepburn said...

It is incredible, can’t wait to see more of it.
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