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I found this in the film “My man Godfrey” from 1930 Options
Ernesto Domingo
Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 11:09:06 PM

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Location: Xalapa de Enríquez, Veracruz-Llave, Mexico
Hello,
I found this in the film “My man Godfrey” from 1930:

“If Park Avenue knew the name of her real beloved, would everybody be leffing. Cupid strikes in strange places, or words to that effect.”

I can’t found the word leffing, I think maybe it’s phonetics for “laughing” or perhaps is a typo?

Do you have any idea?
IMcRout
Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013 2:48:28 AM

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Location: Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Yes, I think you're right. In some stories you'll find the words 'leffing' or 'laffing' for 'laughing', as a means to write down the way some people speak in certain regions of - especially - the USA.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013 10:59:17 AM

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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
I'm leffing/laughing!
It is probably an AE attempt to write a BE spoken sound (or possibly upper East Coast U.S. upper class spoken sound).
Ernesto Domingo
Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013 12:00:59 PM

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Location: Xalapa de Enríquez, Veracruz-Llave, Mexico
Thank you all.
sp3lly
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2019 1:15:13 AM
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Joined: 1/12/2019
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Ernesto Domingo wrote:
Hello,
I found this in the film “My man Godfrey” from 1930:

“If Park Avenue knew the name of her real beloved, would everybody be leffing. Cupid strikes in strange places, or words to that effect.”

I can’t found the word leffing, I think maybe it’s phonetics for “laughing” or perhaps is a typo?

Do you have any idea?





Ernesto,

The word "leffing" is how "laughing" is spelled in Yiddish. Like many Yiddish words/spellings, "leffing" was used and known by the general public, including movie-goers.

For instance, on page 61 of the movie magazine Modern Screen (November 1936), you can find

"And I am leffing." (http://www.archive.org/stream/modernscreen1213unse#page/60/mode/2up) The author is "leffing" or "laughing" at three acquaintances who were having trouble maintaining a good figure. Note this issue of the magazine is from 1936, the same year as My Man Godfrey. There are other examples of "leffing" from movie magazines of that era.

Also note the description of the 1927 book Oi! Oi! I'm Leffing, (http://elmanhypnosis.com/product/oi-oi-im-leffing/), which says 'Half of this book is written phonetically so when you read it, you have a “yiddish accent'. Again, "leffing" is Yiddish for "laughing."










Eoin Riedy
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2019 8:32:27 PM

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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Ernesto Domingo wrote:
Hello,
I found this in the film “My man Godfrey” from 1930:

“If Park Avenue knew the name of her real beloved, would everybody be leffing. Cupid strikes in strange places, or words to that effect.”

I can’t found the word leffing, I think maybe it’s phonetics for “laughing” or perhaps is a typo?

Do you have any idea?

sp3lly wrote:
Ernesto,

The word "leffing" is how "laughing" is spelled in Yiddish. Like many Yiddish words/spellings, "leffing" was used and known by the general public, including movie-goers.

For instance, on page 61 of the movie magazine Modern Screen (November 1936), you can find

"And I am leffing." (http://www.archive.org/stream/modernscreen1213unse#page/60/mode/2up) The author is "leffing" or "laughing" at three acquaintances who were having trouble maintaining a good figure. Note this issue of the magazine is from 1936, the same year as My Man Godfrey. There are other examples of "leffing" from movie magazines of that era.

Also note the description of the 1927 book Oi! Oi! I'm Leffing, (http://elmanhypnosis.com/product/oi-oi-im-leffing/), which says 'Half of this book is written phonetically so when you read it, you have a “yiddish accent'. Again, "leffing" is Yiddish for "laughing."


Ernesto, you must have been reading the screenplay. It calls for a close view of a gossip magazine, which opens to show the article with the text you are describing.
In the actual film, however, as the shot gets closer and the text of the article becomes less blurred, the last part cuts off at an angle, leaving everything after "everybody" out of the focused shot.

That was a good find on your part, sp3lly, and probably explains why the screenwriter called for the fictional magazine to use "leffing".
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