Got X?

I suppose it was inevitable: Got dick?, on the model of Got milk?, seen here on a t-shirt, from one of several sources for such items:

Milk and dick are phonologically similar: monosyllables with the same vowel and with a final /k/. The Got Junk? of 1-800-GOT-JUNK (a firm that carts away things you don’t want, for a fee) also has a phonologically similar noun, junk, with a lax vowel and a final /k/.

The semantics of X in Got X? is complex. In most cases, X is a mass or plural NP (Got milk/junk?, Got ads?) — a bare NP (as in I have milk/ads/*shrub) — so that Got dick? has a reading with a mass interpretation (“body-part conversion” of C to M, as in Kim is looking for dick this weekend).

But it seems that Got dick? can also have a count interpretation, parallel to Got a dick?, that is, ‘Do you have a dick?’ And such an interpretation is available for some other googleable examples of Got X?: Got tonsil? and Got boondoggle?, for instance.

Now the syntactic pattern of Got X?: this is a casual-speech”reduced” construction, missing both a subject and an auxiliary. The subject can be supplied, in You/Ya got X? (still casual speech), but when it comes to supplying an auxiliary as well, there’s considerable variation: Have you got X? is standard (though the facts about stylistic level are different in different dialects), and Do you got X? is possible for some speakers (but labeled as non-standard by others).

In any case, the pattern of Got X? is a much wider one in English (Heard the latest gossip?, Going to the meeting tonight?, Want to help me?, and so on), so the question is whether a snowclone-like formula is developing for the Got X? sub-pattern.

2 Responses to “Got X?”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    More finds: Got Cock?, a 2010 album by Revolting Cocks, and Got Flix?. There are probably more out there.

  2. C > M conversion in the popular media « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] a recent posting on this blog: Got dick? has a reading with a mass interpretation (“body-part conversion” of C to […]

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