Thursday, December 26, 2013

It's Colder Than All Get Out

My aunt Margaret Ann Noffsker, my mother, Dollie's next older sister in her family of ten, was a character. She chose not to marry and spent her life working and doing things for and with many other friends. In the small town of East Freedom, Pennsylvania, Ann Noffsker was a very popular person. Everyone seemed to know Ann, and Ann seemed to know everyone. That's what made Ann such a 'character'. She was always in the thick of things, and an advocate of anything that was popular. At times Ann seemed to be larger than life.

It was my aunt Ann whom I first heard speak the words "all get out" ~ in sentences such as: "It's colder than all get out" or "That crash was louder than all get out." It was also my aunt Ann whom I first heard utter the phrase "Oh my aching tonsil". That one was usually uttered when she would be amazed or when she wanted to express to you that what you just said, or did, pushed her to the limit of which she could fathom. This phrase might be connected to the former as Ann would exclaim: "Oh my aching tonsil, that yellow is brighter than all get out!"

A check of the phrase on the Internet revealed that the phrase 'all get out' was, and continues to be, popular especially in the Appalachian region of the eastern United States of America. (East Freedom is in Appalachia, so that part fits.) Some sites presented the assumption that the phrase literally implied 'getting out' of, or from, something. But the way that the phrase was, and still is, used by people such as my aunt Ann, tend(ed) to embrace the impression of a superlative, meaning that it expresses something bigger or greater than anything else.

So remembering my aunt Ann saying: "It's colder than all get out!", I realize that I loved her more than all get out.

1 comment:

  1. I say it all the time and I grew up in MN. Especially now that we are experiencing our second Polar Vortex -- so it's really colder than all get out!