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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • United States
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    • Join Date: Aug 2014
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    #1

    Origin of "tearing up Ned" ?

    My mother-in-law age 87 born and raised in western Ohio USA uses the phrase " Tearing up Ned" to describe energetic but not well thought out action with a significant potential for damage or unforeseen ( at least to the actor) consequences. eg. " those kids were just racing around the house tearing up Ned". I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts as to the origin of this phrase.

    The only thought I had was that it was related to Ned Kelly the Australian outlaw. This seems far fetched to me but maybe his story was better known in the past. Or maybe a radio character?

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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      • American English
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    • Join Date: Jun 2014
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    #2

    Re: Origin of "tearing up Ned" ?

    Maybe it's a regionalism. It's something I have never run across before. (I'm from Missouri and live in NC.) Have you tried Google?


  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Jan 2009
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    #3

    Re: Origin of "tearing up Ned" ?

    Ned is an old nickname for the devil. Some people say "Holy Ned!" to avoid swearing. She means making a mess, causing trouble, creating a commotion, misbehaving.

    It's a great old expression.

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