A Little More Conversation

True Story

Lord Mantle:  I like Francis Bacon.

Me:  Oh I don’t, he gives me the eebeegeebys.  If I was to write a critique of his work, or even a thesis entitled The Artistic Merits of Francis Bacon, that would be exactly what I would say, “he gives me the eebeegeebys”.  Except I am not sure how to spell it.

Lord Mantle:  E E B E E G E E B E E ‘ S

Lady Mantle and Myself in unison:  There is no apostrophe!

Lord Mantle:  Yes there is, by golly!

Lady Mantle replied alone.  This could quite easily escalate into one of their marital ding dongs which general end in a very messy cow pat flinging shoot-out.  For this reason, and not wanting to get between them if such a thing should happen, I thought it sensible to hold stum:  Definitely not, it doesn’t have anything belonging to it so consequently it doesn’t need one.

Me, before Lord Mantle could reply, trying to divert attention from the dangerous apostrophe:  I wonder if it ends in Y.

Lord Mantle who is easily sidetracked: Yes, Y ‘ S that would work

Me, unconvinced and cowardly:  Perhaps ……….

Lady Mantle takes deep breath and starts making strange whimpering noises whilst pawing the ground.

Me:  Shall we do some work now?

Post event note:  According to the Collins English Dictionary the word is spelt heebie-jeebies, and means a state of nervousness or jitters.  It was first used by the American cartoonist W. B. De Beck (1890-1942) in his comic strip Barney Google. 

We weren’t even close.  But there is definitely no apostrophe.

10 thoughts on “A Little More Conversation

  1. I used to be a confident apostrophe user, but then my granddaughter( yes granddaughter!) grew up and joined the Apostrophe Police, she became quite fierce at the sight of a misused apostrophe, I lost all confidence, I will avoid the use of them if at all possible. I can see from your story that this has most likely saved my marriage too.
    Never knew heebiejeebies was american.


  2. I think you were very restrained, I think misplacing apostrophes is one of the 7 Deadly Sins, epecially when it used on random plural words. Francis Bacon gives me the Heebeejeebees too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always seen and spelled it with the hyphen (heebie-jeebies) but I have no recollection of how that started, LOL. And yes, it’s American although mostly from a couple of generations back. We Baby Boomers remember it even if we rarely use it, but am pretty sure it died out (or is dying) with us, LOL. Another vintage phrase that I’ve always hyphenated is “upsie-daisy”; mom still used that in the 1980s when playing with my son.

    Liked by 1 person

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