It’s been a slice

Today’s Zits:

  (#1)

It’s been a slice, as a way of saying ‘it’s been good; goodbye’, was new to me. It’s in a few recent dictionaries of American slang / idioms, but not in Green’s Dictionary of Slang or (unsurprisingly) the OED; I have a citation from the late 1990s, but not (yet) anything earlier than that. And its origins are murky.

The 2007 Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions from McGraw Hill and the 2002 McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs both have the expression. And it appears in Disney’s animated Hercules (film in 1997, tv series in 1998), in this exchange between Hercules and Meg (Megara, who becomes his first wife):

 (#2)

Meg, saying goodbye: “It’s been a real slice.”

There is speculation about the origins of the expression, which certainly looks like a truncation — so, possibly, from It’s been a slice of life, said in the same spirit as It’s been real. But I’ve found no occurrences of the full expression used as in #1, so for the moment this is pure speculation.

[Added 9/18/13, from Hugo on ADS-L:

The earliest I found is in the Edmonton Journal (17 October 1979) (link) and used both phrases:

Thanks Mr. Speaker, It’s Been A Real Slice!

Consumer Affairs Minister Julian Koziak said: “I’m pleased to introduce this bill, as a fresh piece of legislation, being an example of deregulation. By passing this bill, we will be giving a stale legislation the bun,” he said.
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker, It’s been a slice.”

I collected some other early to mid-1980s examples here, including a possible 1980 that uses “So thanks for the memories, it’s been a real slice of life.”]

One Response to “It’s been a slice”

  1. lyn Says:

    I remember it being used ( a slice of life) in 1978 in the Hardy Boys. Joe Hardy used it in more than one episode..as he said goodbye to someone ( ex. he said it to Bernie in the episode Death Surf).

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