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Tonight, my dh was looking for a specific shirt that happened to be dirty. I said I would do some laundry in a few minutes and he said he would do it. I answered, "That is for to laugh," because I don't even know if dh knows where the detergent is, much less how to operate the washing machine. Anyway, he was completely taken by the statement, "for to laugh," and said he'd never heard it before. I had to explain that I meant him doing laundry was laughable. I have no idea where I originally heard it, but I've heard it multiple times in my life and have used it as long as I can remember (although dh apparently cannot remember having heard it before.) 

 

He wants to know where I heard it. I tried Google to no avail besides some random internet posts. So help me out. Is this a saying you are familiar with? 

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That’s not one I’ve ever heard either. Is it similar to saying “what a laugh†or “that’s a joke� Sounds like it is, but an odd turn of phrase. Maybe a regency novel or fantasy with period leaning?

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I've never heard it, either. But, it does kind of sound like something which might be said by someone who learned English as a second language. The preposition + infinitive is common in other languages.

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Never heard of it either. On a side note my father used to tease my mother when she was sick in bed that he would happily haul the washing machine into her bedroom for her.

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I've been wracking my brain and I think I heard it in a play- where they were poking fun in a Shakespearean sort of tone. Not IN an actual Shakespeare play, but someone in a play trying to imitate something haughty like out of formal English, if that makes sense. 

 

Perhaps this is my issue with the phrase....I HATED Shakespeare.  HATED it.  I have BEEN to Stratford-Upon-Avon and I still HATE Shakespeare.  Every single Shakespearean thing I had to do for school....my mom literally had to translate line for line for me.  I can't explain it because I am usually pretty good with old text, etc....but Shakespeare......no.  I honor his word ability.....it's way beyond me lol. 

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Okay, Google just informed me at a minimum it was in an episode of Roseanne. Bit of a far cry from a Shakespeare style play, but, hey at least now I know I'm not just imagining it.  :lol:  At least someone somewhere said it! 

 

Also, Google is amazing. 

 

 

 

BECKY MEASURING DRYWALL? [bRITISH ACCENT] THAT IS FOR TO LAUGH.
HA HA HA HA HA! NO, THAT'S NOT FOR TO LAUGH.

Read more: https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?tv-show=roseanne&episode=s02e23

 

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My mom used to say it when we were growing up. Generally when we made a promise such as if she lets us go out tonight we’ll complete our undone chores first thing the next day. “Ha! That is for to laugh!â€

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I said it in my best haughty British tone, for the record. :lol:

I just KNEW it! 😂😂😂

 

ETA and HA!, I made my comment before reading yours above it mentioning Shakespeare. So it sounded that way to me just from your OP.

Edited by Seasider
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I grew up in New England, and associate it with British or Irish speech patterns that persist in the Boston area. Haven't heard it since I moved to the Midwest.

 

Amy

Edited by Acadie
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It was featured in dialogue in Looney Tunes episodes all the time IIRC.  I can hear Bugs saying it in my head!

 

Thank you!!! I knew I grew up knowing this phrase, but couldn't figure out why my people should have used it. You are right, this is undoubtedly the source, at least in my world!

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No. It sounds like a literal word for word translation from another language. ie para reír

I love discovering those correct translation tidbits, "ah, that is why people from that country often (leave out the pronoun, or add random definite articles, whatever)"

 

I'm waiting to understand the background behind "do the needful" as in, "I want you to share your answer key with me, so please do the needful and email it to me." I think it comes from somewhere in India.

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I love discovering those correct translation tidbits, "ah, that is why people from that country often (leave out the pronoun, or add random definite articles, whatever)"

 

I'm waiting to understand the background behind "do the needful" as in, "I want you to share your answer key with me, so please do the needful and email it to me." I think it comes from somewhere in India.

Dh works with a test lab in India and they say ‘do the needful’ all the time. we’ve been saying it for years since dh picked it up from work. I love the phrase. It describes exactly what I mean. To my kids: The bathroom is dirty and your laundry is piling up. Do the needful.

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It was featured in dialogue in Looney Tunes episodes all the time IIRC. I can hear Bugs saying it in my head!

That’s probably where my mom learned it! I also grew up hearing my dad say ‘what a maroon’ like Bugs says for moron. I had such a cultured childhood.

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Dh works with a test lab in India and they say ‘do the needful’ all the time. we’ve been saying it for years since dh picked it up from work. I love the phrase. It describes exactly what I mean. To my kids: The bathroom is dirty and your laundry is piling up. Do the needful.

"Do the needful" is also a common expression in French: "fait le nécessaire". Could have come into English that way.

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"Do the needful" is also a common expression in French: "fait le nécessaire". Could have come into English that way.

I wonder if that’s how people from India picked it up. I’ve never heard any of our doctors use the term and nearly all of them are from India. I assumed it was a phrase younger people there used since most of the guys dh works with are younger.

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"Do the needful" is also a common expression in French: "fait le nécessaire". Could have come into English that way.

Interesting! We definitely hear it from India, but of course it could also be tied to both - maybe it moved from France to India.

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Dh works with a test lab in India and they say ‘do the needful’ all the time. we’ve been saying it for years since dh picked it up from work. I love the phrase. It describes exactly what I mean. To my kids: The bathroom is dirty and your laundry is piling up. Do the needful.

 

 

I LOVE this!

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