Re: [sixties-l] Letting it all hang out

From: John Dougill (
Date: 12/16/00

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    A public vote of thanks to Ted Morgan, Marty Jezer and Paula for their
    thoughtful comments and insights. Incidentally I've checked in the OED and
    it seems that 'hang-up' has Elizabethan origins in its meaning of trouble or
    difficulty, but the earliest citing for 'letting it all hang out' is 1970
    from the Afro-American Slang Dictionary. I wonder if it's a crossover from
    black slang like 'rock and roll'....
    I've checked too on Reich but got the impression he was more active in the
    1950s with orgone and UFOs, not to mention fighting the FBI, but the
    humanist psychologist lead looks promising. I have a thesis that awareness
    of psychiatry and emotional repression became more widespread in the 1950s
    and early 1960s (rather than earlier in the century) because of the rise of
    affluence and the greater number of people able to afford psychiatric help
    and take an interest in their leisure time and reading.  Just a hunch on my
    part so if anyone has evidence either way on this, or suggestions as to
    where I could enquire further (is there a psycho-list?) I'd be grateful.
    Meanwhile, thanks and have a good weekend

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