I’ve mentioned I own this book. There are more Dicks inside than a whorehouse on Dollar Day. And there our story begins –
In the heyday of early to mid 20th Century detective stories, the private eye and legitimate detectives were called “dicks.” The etymology has many tangents, but the most believable to me is criminal slang from 1800’s England used “dick” to mean “to look or see”. Derived from the Gypsy word “dik” meaning the same. The activity of looking, possibly surreptitiously, was known as “dicking”. The descriptive noun for one who dicks is, no surprise, a dick.
I have been reading stories from The Black Mask, as well as Hammett and Chandler shorts. I would occasionally snicker aloud over some lines.
We’ll take your dick along so you don’t try to get wise – Your dick’s got quite a mouth on him – Who let that ugly dick in here – What’s the matter, dick? You not get enough of us earlier? – Come on, dick. Show us what you’ve got – the house dick was short and fat – that dick’s sure got a hard head – Watch your back. The last thing this department needs is another stiff dick – And those are the tip of the iceberg. (Unintentional pun)
I started thinking of all the ways dick gets used now. Much the same as fuck. Transitive and intransitive verb, noun, adverb, adjective, pronoun. Dick ‘em down, we got this dicked, he dicked her, she got dicked, stupid (etc) dick, don’t be a dick, just like a dick, dick, dick it, grow some dick, pencil dick, dickin’ off, dick breath, the test was dick hard, stiff as a dick.
Bearing in mind these various uses is it any wonder when we see a word or series of words that our minds slip straight into the gutter, or the locker room? I mean, come on, what’s the first thing that crossed your mind when you saw TubenASS?
Well, they got it dicht for you, right here.