The Good News?

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Ex-Ten, Oct 17, 2012.

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  1. OK, we all know that laying down fire is often reffered to as "Giving 'em the good news" but where did the expression originate from?
     
  2. Used to be a term for Christian evangelising - I'm giving people the good news about Jesus.
     
  3. good, swift and insightful end to the thread.

    Next!!
     
  4. FORMER_FYRDMAN

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    GMF uses the expression in his Flashman books so it was certainly around in the mid-Seventies and he was quite capable of coining a phrase - it has a WW2/Wodehouse ring to it though, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was first used by PGW.
     
  5. Its puzzling, because being shot at wouldn't really be good news at all, not like winning the first prize in the lottery, or pulling the good looking bird down the pub. That would be good news.

    Being shot at would better be termed, giving them the BAD news.

    Unless its ironic.
     
  6. Wodehouse used it to describe some earnest young curate 'spreading the Good News' in the East End and being kicked in the stomach by a costermonger for his pains. One of the Wooster books, the one with the Alpine hat.

    The use of a phrase by breathlessly earnest young idealists would set it up perfectly for later ironic subversion.
     
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  7. Good efforts so far, we may be on to something with the Flashman books (suppose I'll have to read them now). Unless, of course someone comes up with an earlier recorded usage of the term in relation to opening fire on an adversary. :)
     
  8. Its taken from the German "Gute Nacht" meaning good night, coined by Baron Richten, so then it became "Gute Nachtrichten", meaning "Good News"

    Hope this helped.
     
  9. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    The New (the Old, as well) Testament is awash with references to bringing, giving and spreading the good news. It's an ancient phrase and probably got its cynical twist in a major war (WW1 or WW2?).
     
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  10. Especially when bum fodder was running low.

    Give him the Good News.

    Its also the name of a version of the Bible IIRC?
     
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