Posted: 03 March 2007 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2007-03-03

Anyone know the origin of the phrase “what’s the skinny” or “give me the skinny” or “here’s the skinny” etc.?  I remember reading somewhere (sorry, can’t remember now where) that it may have had an origin in WWII.  I was surprised this wasn’t in the big list already.

Posted: 03 March 2007 06:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  4627
Joined  2007-01-29

This seems to be one of the many slang terms whose origins are lost in the mist.  Cassell says:

[? play on SE skin, i.e. ‘the naked truth’, ‘the bare facts’]

-- which seems like a pretty desperate stab at a hypothesis.

Posted: 03 March 2007 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  3102
Joined  2007-01-30

FWIW here’s the OED entry, although there’s nothing on origin.

skinny, 2. Information; rumour (see also quot. 1959). slang (chiefly U.S.).

1959 Amer. Speech XXXIV. 156 What’s the skinny means ‘What’s up?’ 1974 E. BRAWLEY Rap (1975) II. xxiii. 363 Come to lay some skinny on you that I picked up off the vine. 1979 D. ANTHONY Long Hard Cure xxi. 162 Who killed her, Butler? Let’s have the skinny. 1980 L. CODY Dupe xxiii. 165 Give them the skinny but keep the kudos.

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