Not to Get Technical About It . . .

The Sunday Boston Globe piece summarizing summer movies featured this subhed:

Even in the silly season you can learn a lot from what clicked, what stiffed, and what surprised

I thought the expression was “get /got stiffed.”

Paging Jan Freeman, paging  Globe Word maven Jan Freeman.

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2 Responses to Not to Get Technical About It . . .

  1. Jan Freeman says:

    Hey John,
    I didn’t know this intransitive “stiff” either, but the OED does:

    stiff, v.

    * intr. slang (orig. Music). Of a record, film, etc.: to fail, to flop; to meet with public indifference. Cf. STIFF n. 3. [ref. is to ‘stiff’ as slang for corpse–jf]

    1973 Phonograph Record Oct. 23/4 Like the two previous 45s, it stiffed totally. 1983 in T. Hibbert Rockspeak! 149 The..album completely stiffed in the States. 1993 Entertainm. Weekly 31 Dec.-7 Jan. 74/2 The screen version of her Ethan Frome stiffed. 2006 Miami Herald (Nexis) 21 July G16 The series was tarnished as a turkey and naturally it stiffed.

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