[New-Poetry] "Jumping the shark"
david.weinstock at gmail.com
Sat Sep 11 14:48:17 EDT 2010
I have always heard that it originated from a Happy Days episode involving
Fonzie and a shark tank, after which the show is said to have started its
long downhill slide.
On Sat, Sep 11, 2010 at 2:22 PM, Skip Fox <fox.skip at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm not at the office and can't see if "jumping the shark" made it into the
> *Random House Dictionary of American Slang*, but even knowing well how
> good that reference is, I think the phrase post-dates the publication of the
> second volume, but I could well be wrong. ("Crib" as slang for "home" goes
> back into the middle of the 19th century.)
> I originally heard "jumping the shark" in political terms. An analyst
> saying that a politician has taken on a cause, gotten too blatant/sour in
> his public response, and now must take great effort not to be devoured
> politically. A controversial politician gives a speech at the AAUP,
> say, about the drastic cuts and alterations he feels necessary when dealing
> with the future of Social Security, then must spend the following days
> (weeks? rest of short career?) trying to rephrase, taking back, interpreting
> liberally, or apologizing for, etc.
> He jumps a creature he feels he can handle (tame? kill?) then finds himself
> hanging onto a shark (not a horse, or young roe) for dear life. (For on his
> back is the only place where he mouth is not).
> I've heard it, I think, for about 6-10 years. From television (a la Sunday
> morning) network news analysis shows.
> New-Poetry mailing list
> New-Poetry at wiz.cath.vt.edu
*David Weinstock / 240 Woodland Park / Middlebury, VT 05753
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