I've heard that mentioned over the years, but it's not in any of my dictionaries - does anyone know it's etymology off the top of their heads? :-D
Nick
1 2 3
it's etymology

I won't chide you for your misplaced apostrophe. Good old Eric Partridge in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, gives "ab-dabs" as World War II slang for a tall tale, as well as "an attack of delirium tremens". He dates the phrase "screaming ab-dabs" to about
1950.
(Email Removed), contrex (Email Removed) writes
it's etymology

I won't chide you for your misplaced apostrophe. Good old Eric Partridge in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, ... a tall tale, as well as "an attack of delirium tremens". He dates the phrase "screaming ab-dabs" to about 1950.

If the condition becomes serious, it may turn into the "screaming heebie-jeebies and the howling habdabs". Very nasty.
Ian
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it's etymology

I won't chide you for your misplaced apostrophe. Good old Eric Partridge in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, ... a tall tale, as well as "an attack of delirium tremens". He dates the phrase "screaming ab-dabs" to about 1950.

In my copy of Partridge (8th Ed.) he has no hyphen in 'abdabs'. He places it "C.20, esp WW2" for "don't come (/) give me the old abdabs." He notes that abdabs in WW2 was occasionally used for afters. 'delirium tremens' is specifically the screaming abdabs and is from the late 1930s.
The 'hab-dabs' variant (this time with hyphen) he dates from ca 1942. Apart from that your edition and my edition of Eric P are in harmony.

John Dean
Oxford
I won't chide you for your misplaced apostrophe. Good old ... tremens". He dates the phrase "screaming ab-dabs" to about 1950.

In my copy of Partridge (8th Ed.) he has no hyphen in 'abdabs'. He places it "C.20, esp WW2" for ... hyphen) he dates from ca 1942. Apart from that your edition and my edition of Eric P are in harmony.

Huh? What do you mean, "used for afters"?

Marshall Price of Miami
http://marshallprice.wordpress.com
In my copy of Partridge (8th Ed.) he has no ... edition and my edition of Eric P are in harmony.

Huh? What do you mean, "used for afters"?

The word "abdabs" is sometimes used in place of "afters". It is a food reference.
OED
afters, n. pl.
colloq. (formerly only dial. and vulg.).
The course which follows the main course of a meal.
1909 J. R. WARE Passing Eng. 3/1 Afters (Devon), sweets{em}pies andpuddings. ‘Bring in the afters’ is a common satirical remark in poor Devonshire houses, especially when there are no ‘afters’ to follow. Also used in Scotland, e.g., ‘Hey mon, a dinner, an' nae afters!’
1919 Athenæum 29 Aug. 822/2 ‘Afters’ is in no sense an armyword..beyond the fact that the mass of the army is composed of the working classes... Used in its equivalent sense to sweets, pudding, entremets or dessert, it may not show much imagination.
1940 Manchester Guardian Weekly 11 Oct. 255 The meat course costsfrom fourpence to sixpence, and the ‘afters’, as Londoners call puddings, from twopence to threepence.
....

1953 SCOTT & FISHER 1,000 Geese x. 120 We ate our corned beef andcheese, crisp-bread and biscuits, with dates for afters.

Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.english.usage)
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Huh? What do you mean, "used for afters"?

The word "abdabs" is sometimes used in place of "afters". It is a food reference.

I wouldn't worry, Peter. Marshall only wakes up a week or two after the thread is closed. He'll be asleep again now.

John Dean
Oxford
The word "abdabs" is sometimes used in place of "afters". It is a food reference.

I wouldn't worry, Peter. Marshall only wakes up a week or two after the thread is closed. He'll be asleep again now.

I noticed a frenzy of activity.

Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.english.usage)
I wouldn't worry, Peter. Marshall only wakes up a week or two after the thread is closed. He'll be asleep again now.

I noticed a frenzy of activity.

That's right.
Two weeks zzz Two weeks zzz

John Dean
Oxford
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