20 October 2008

Hunker Down (with or without shelter)

Headline: Hunkering Down
Excerpt from article:
"Suddenly, it is fashionable to pinch pennies. Washington socialites [Mr. and Mrs. X] are not taking their annual grand tour of Italy this year. Instead they plan to drop in on friends in Montana....Sobered by the sight of beleaguered billionaires and the collapse of corporate empires strung out on debt, U.S. consumers are hunkering down. They are borrowing less, shopping carefully and saving more."

23 July 1990, Time Magazine

Yes, the year was 1990. Today's headlines are remarkably similar and "hunker down" also appears on t-shirts and coffee mugs. Some recent uses:

Washington Post headline:
U.S. firms hunker down to survive credit freeze

Virginia Gazette Editorial entitled:
Hunker down

BNET web site asked:
Are CEOs Hunkering Down?

Column at ReportonBusiness.com advised:
Hunker down, happy hour is over

AP story headline:
Employers 'hunkering down' and cutting jobs

KCBS in San Francisco report:
Retailers Hunker Down for Slow Christmas

Just prior to the news of the financial crisis, "hunker down" became the most uttered advice to anyone in the path of Hurricane Ike. In September, Texas Judge Ed Emmett advised residents to "Please shelter in place, or to use the Texas expression, hunker down."

LBJ used that expression on more than a few occasions, applying it to politics, c. 1960s. I found these quotes attributed to him:

"Sometimes, you just have to hunker down and take it like a jackass in a hailstorm."

"Sometimes, all you can do is just hunker down and take it, like a jackass caught out in a hailstorm."

"Well, boys I tell you what we're going to do. We're going to hunker down like a jackass in a hail storm and wait till the winds stop blowing."

"I'm doing the best I can. It's like the old man in my county that said he felt like a jackass in a hailstorm: he just had to hunker down and take it."

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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