Stripe me pink / Strike me pink

minhduc

Senior Member
vietnamese
Hi everybody. When I tell my friend an unbelievable story, she said to me: "Stripe me pink!". I don't understand why she said that? What is the origin of it? Would you please explain it to me?

Thanks.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    According to the Eggcorn Database (yes, there is such a thing), stripe me pink is an expression of surprise, amazement, wonder. (JoyZine: Australia Decoded)

    It is primarily a UK/Australian exclamation of surprise (OED has citations back to 1902). Some examples of "stripe me pink" are evidently based on mishearings by English speakers from elsewhere in the world (e.g., the US) unfamiliar with the original expression. It also appears frequently as a deliberate pun.


    You can click that link above for a few more examples. I've also seen "Well, stripe me pink and call me a peppermint stick" and "Stripe me pink and call me a llama."
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    All these years I thought it was 'strike me pink'! I haven't heard it for a very long time though.
    Doing my little research bit, I noticed that that is apparently one of the puns or mishearings or misunderstandings that is pretty common. :)

    Edit: Or, as Myridon mentions, it could be (or is) the other way around. :D
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    All these years I thought it was 'strike me pink'! I haven't heard it for a very long time though.
    To clarify: "Strike me pink" is the original phrase. "Stripe me pink" is an eggcorn - a phrase created from another phrase by substituting a familiar word for a less familiar word.
     

    manon33

    Senior Member
    English - England (Yorkshire)
    Do you know why do people use it to express the surprise? :)
    I think the inference is something like : If that's true [the speaker is suggesting it isn't], I'll let you strike me/stripe me/turn me pink all over! In other words, I'm so surprised by what you've just told me, I'd in theory allow something very odd to happen to me (because it's so unlikely you'd get to do it!)
     

    manon33

    Senior Member
    English - England (Yorkshire)
    Because it is an expression: that is why... It is a bit of a Dodo.

    GF..
    I agree it is largely obsolete, but that doesn't mean it didn't originally have a meaning. Expressions always come from somewhere - they don't just exist for no reason!
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English by Eric Partridge, Tom Dalzell, and Terry Victor has an entry "strike me blind!; strike me dumb!; strike me lucky!" which says these expressions are "used for registering shock, surprise or astonishment. Other variations include calls on God to strike the speaker 'bountiful', 'vulgar', 'ugly' or 'pink'."

    The expression "strike me pink" is given as a separate entry identifying it as a catchphrase from Australia, 1892, used to express great surprise.

    It occurs to me that--like "Bless you!" and "God help me!"--this is an example of a verb used in in a frozen form of the subjunctive--a formulaic subjunctive, that is. Rather than an imperative telling God what he should do--which might be considered blasphemous--it is expressing a hope that he will perform the action. The speaker has no real control over whether God will perform the action or not. Originally, in other words, "Strike me dumb!" may have taken the form "Strike me dumb if I lie," with "God" understood as the subject, as it is in "Bless you!"

    In modern use, this form of the subjunctive is not productive. Instead, we have to substitute a quasi-subjunctive such as "may" plus the infinitive, and we have to explicitly state God as the subject: "May God fry my computer if I lie online!":)
     
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    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I agree it is largely obsolete, but that doesn't mean it didn't originally have a meaning. Expressions always come from somewhere - they don't just exist for no reason!
    The meaning was already explained by Parla .... post 6...

    One uses expressions because they are there.... Sometimes we use them correctly and sometime not..

    GF..

    To paraphrase a goldie but oldie "They exist therefore they are." They are not self creating: some human action gave them life....

    I'll leave it to others to go into aspects of the development of the meaning of a living expression..... But should that should be another thread???
     

    strikemepink

    New Member
    english
    Ok. Everybody is actually way off beam! Unfortunately the saying has suffered from the all to frequent malignment resulting from political correctness. The very reason you do hear it these days is because some of us older inhabitants watched Chips Rafferty movies. The movies themselves may even have met their demise due to political correctness as "strike me pink" was not the only gender related term, or other politically incorrect term used. It is not stripe me pink [which comes from the obvious poor hearing and misuse by someone passing it on as are a lot of terms used by 'tourists'] AND it means something along the lines of "Weeeeell strike me pink and call me a sheila" [send round the thought police, I'm ready to be incarserated]. Unfortunately these days some would take it beyond gender abuse and suggest another even worse sin, that of calling a particular persuasion inferior. Which was never the intention, way back then. It was, what would have been then, the far more innocent "change me gender with a 'magic wand" type of terminology. It was also never a Pomme saying. They could not have thought of it. It was used by 'blokes out back of beyond' who rarely had contact with the fairer sex along with a squillion other terms of the like. No harm was ever intended and in fact, they were mostly uttered by men who would wade a flooded river to rescue anybody, of any gender. And while we are it, I thoroughly believe the term POMME might have some significance associated with Prisoner of... but I am sure it had it's origins in the term used to describe Apples etc. It seems odd to me that the person calling someone a Pom way back then would have most likely been a Prisoner of...... themselves . More likely that it came from the Rum Rebellion where those rougher types manufactured Rum from anything they could find, while the refined, English types drank Cider made from Pomme fruit, apples etc. If you think about the people who would have first used it disparagingly it was meant to be offensive, and most of those uttering it, would have been Prisoners of Merry Mother England themselves!
     
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