2 of 2
2
School keeps
Posted: 25 September 2008 03:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  710
Joined  2007-02-07
Myridon - 24 September 2008 05:17 AM

I haven’t heard that usage before either.

Googling, it looks to me like it (possibly only?) exists in a set phrase… “I don’t care if school keeps or not”, “I don’t give a damn if school keeps or not”, “whether school keeps or not” etc. which is used in situations where no actual school is involved to mean something like “come hell or high water”.  Where’s that coming from I wonder?

It seems to me that “Whether school keeps or not” is based on the idea that in severe circumstances, schools are closed, eh? So “whether school keeps or not” is a fairly straightforward rendition of “under any circumstances.”

If that’s what you were asking....

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 September 2008 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  311
Joined  2007-02-17
happydog - 25 September 2008 03:04 PM

Myridon - 24 September 2008 05:17 AM
Where‘s that coming from I wonder?

If that’s what you were asking....

Sorry.  Poorly phrased again.
Whence (from what place, source, time) is this particular idiomatic usage of “if school keeps or not” coming from?

There was another poorly phrased question in the poorly phrased post:
m-w.com has under intransitive:
5: to be in session <school will keep through the winter — W. M. Thayer>
This quote is from an 1881 book.

From Log-cabin to White House by W. M. Thayer -

“School will keep through the winter,” said Mehetabel to her mother, as she came home one day close to the end of the term. “Jacob’s father is raising the money to pay the master.”


Does anyone know if there any current (or within the last 40 or 50 years) usage of this particular sense outside of this idiom?
I did find this 1944 Time article School Will Keep, but that is just the title of the article and doesn’t appear in the body. I think it may just be a variation on the idiom - my reading of the article indicates that the schools being discussed aren’t in session and won’t be for some time.  The title of the book someone else mentioned, If School Keeps, also sounds like a reference to the idiom.
[ Edited: 25 September 2008 10:43 PM by Myridon ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 September 2008 12:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2331
Joined  2007-01-30

I don’t think the heading of the Time article, School Will Keep, is being used in either the literal or figurative sense of the phrase in question. To me it reads as in the phrase it’ll keep, ie it can wait, and the article seems to bear this out.

[ Edited: 26 September 2008 12:23 AM by aldiboronti ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 October 2008 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1221
Joined  2007-04-28

If you think that’s bad, the entire teenage population of the UK bopped around to Alice Cooper’s No. 1 hit single “School’s Out” in the early ‘70s without having a clue what it meant. I think we would’ve transliterated it as ‘school’s broken up’ at the time if we’d known better.
In the ‘60s Dusty Springfield had a hit with “Downtown” and no one knew what this referred to either. There’s a funny anecdote in Lonely Planet’s British Phrasebook published in the late ‘90s about this where an American phones directory enquiries somewhere in the UK and asks where the the downtown post office is or somesuch, and is not understood at all. The LP phrasebook then defines it as British ‘city centre’ though I have also read of it as being defined as the financial district of a city. You can see why it is misleading because of the “down” (which has always suggested south to me) part and I have no idea what “uptown” would be in an American city either despite also bopping in the ‘70s to Jamaican New Yorkers’ Althea and Donna’s “Uptown Top Ranking” (which is probably rasta slang) and was a massive hit in the UK, mon, and I never thought to investigate that semantically either!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 October 2008 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2331
Joined  2007-01-30
venomousbede - 03 October 2008 12:23 PM

If you think that’s bad, the entire teenage population of the UK bopped around to Alice Cooper’s No. 1 hit single “School’s Out” in the early ‘70s without having a clue what it meant.

It may not be used in the UK but I can’t believe that anyone had trouble in understanding the phrase. My friends and I (in our early 20s at the time) certainly did.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 October 2008 02:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  825
Joined  2007-03-01

I didn’t, for one. I assumed vaguely that it meant “school’s finished for the day”, not for the holidays!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 October 2008 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2331
Joined  2007-01-30

Ah, yes, I see. Thinking about it, my friends and I may well have owed our familiarity with the phrase to our passion for r&b, specifically the earlier songs by Gary US Bonds, School Is Out and School Is In.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 October 2008 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  311
Joined  2007-02-17
Syntinen Laulu - 04 October 2008 02:05 AM

I didn’t, for one. I assumed vaguely that it meant “school’s finished for the day”, not for the holidays!

It can mean either (e.g. school’s out early today at 1:30 instead of 3:30), but given that the lyric is “School’s out for summer! School’s out forever!” ...

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 February 2010 11:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2010-02-19

[color=blue][/color
I have heard the phrase used.  As I recall, it was around 1972, and the man who used it was, I would guess, in his late fifties.  He was a working-class man with, I would guess, the typical high-school education one got in rural Colorado around or just before WW2, which was, in many respects, a standard many of our schools today would like to attain.  He was referring to a co-worker noted for being fairly casual about rules in general when he said, “Yep, Frank don’t care whether school keeps or not.”

BTW, I have Night of Delusions on my bookshelf along with many of Laumer’s other books, but I don’t recall that line.  I’ll have to dig it out and read it again.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 February 2010 07:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3498
Joined  2007-01-29

Welcome, jrickett, it’s always good to have another sf fan around here!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 May 2012 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2012-05-05

My 85 year old mom used this phrase today and I’d never heard it before...the power of google brought me to this forum!

She was describing a problem with her leg she’d been having this week, and a lot of pain...to the point where she said on Thursday and Friday that she “didn’t care if school kept or not” I said WHAT? and she repeated it, so I asked her to explain what that meant. She said it was an old-time saying meaning the pain was so bad, she didn’t care about anything else.

It was wonderful to find this forum as a resource, so I thought I’d add my 2 cents to the discussion.

Cheers!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 May 2012 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3498
Joined  2007-01-29

Welcome, and thanks for that anecdote!

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 2
2
 
‹‹ Endangered words      Anglo-Norman Dictionary ››