General Question

Nullo's avatar

Does anybody know the origin of the phrase,"Nuts to that?"?

Asked by Nullo (21978points) April 19th, 2011

I find it an amusing phrase and would like to incorporate it into my everyday speech, but I’m worried that it might have NSFW implications. I try to keep my language PG.

I realize that creative people can give anything NSFW implications; that’s not what I’m worried about.

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4 Answers

anartist's avatar

Yes. WWII Army general
@hiphiphopflipflapflop beat me to it.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

From the previous link…

According to various accounts from those present, when McAuliffe was told of the German demand for surrender he said “nuts”. At a loss for an official reply, Lt. Col. Harry Kinnard suggested that his first remark summed up the situation well, which was agreed to by the others. The official reply: “To the German Commander, NUTS!, The American Commander” was typed and delivered by Colonel Joseph Harper, commanding the 327th Glider Infantry, and his S-3, Major Alvin Jones, to the German delegation. Harper offered an explanation of the meaning of the word to the Germans, telling them that in “plain English” it meant “Go to hell.”

I think the meaning may have been “I would have to be nuts (crazy) to surrender to you.” or “You must be nuts (crazy) if you think I am going to surrender.”

morphail's avatar

The first citation in the OED is from 1910. The meaning is “Expressing incredulity, rejection, etc.: ‘nonsense!’, ‘rubbish!’ Also used (freq. with to) to express contempt for or disregard of a person or thing.”

1910 Adventure Nov. 47/2 ‘Nuts!’ he said in deep scorn. ‘This regiment won the battle!’

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