Of these, the first four soon came to be written, and pronounced, 'solid'-that is, Tabu, Nabu, Sabu, Tarfu, with the u pronounced oo.
Respectively, a typical army balls-up: a non-adjustable balls-up; a self adjustable balls-up, where balls-up=confusion, 'mess': army, mostly officers', esp. in North Africa: 1940-5. TARFU is that state of confusion in which 'things are really fucked-up (politely, fouled-up)'; TCCFU is a 'typical Coastal Command fuck-up' and was employed in the RAF, esp. in Coastal Command itself, 1941-4.
-representing 'Thank God!'-is applied to cutlery and crockery left unused at table and therefore not needing to be washed up. What's more, the articles themselves become T.G.s. Domestic: since c. 1940. (David Short, 1978.) Seemingly prompted by the next. P.B.: cf the Aus. use of sunbeams for the same thing (DSUE).
Thank God it's Friday!': perhaps orig. among teachers in primary and secondary schools, C20, but by c. 1950, at latest, if had been taken over by all Monday-Friday workers. Common also in US (R.C., sometimes in the form T.G.F. (J.W.C.). P.B.: there arose in the Services, c. 1960, a similar expression, P.O.E.T.S., or poets, standing for 'push (or, vulgarly, piss) off early, tomorrow's Saturday', used by all those excusing themselves for skimping the Friday afternoon stint. (With thanks to P.J. Emrys Jones.)
A.B., 1979, adds another: 'My friend Richard French (sadly deceased) used to have a job with our [US] Navy Department. For some reason his week's work ended on Thursdays; so, when he wrote to me, he would abbreviate “Sure happy it's Thursday”-S.H.I.T.!' E.P. commented, 'S.H.I.T. never became a c.p.-but that's how many c.pp. originate.'
See: tough shit.
See: ta-ta for now.
See: you're getting TV.
See: say 'ta'!
A c.p. form of 'Good-bye for the present!'-often 'initialled' to T.T.F.N.: esp. during the 1940s, it was instituted and popularized by the radio programme, 'ITMA': see TOMMY HANDLEY CATCH PHRASES. In Frank Worsley's Itma, 1948, we read that Dorothy Summers first appeared in ITMA on 10 Oct. 1940 and rapidly became famous in her role of Mrs Mopp and that, by mid-1943, 'Mrs Mopp's entrances and exits had become standardized. As she was going she bellowed “T.T.F.N.”'
As the years went by, and the series continued in popularity, Tommy started to respond to T.T.F.N. with ever longer sets of initials, e.g. the exchange:
MRS MOPP: T.T.F.N.
MRS M.: What's that?
HANDLEY: Never clean a window with a soft boiled egg!
See: ain't coming.
See: keep taking.
See: go sit; run up a; that, Bill.
See: that, Bill.
Be quiet or stop talking!: mid C17-mid C19, then only among a diminishing number of scholars. In Thomas Shadwell, The Virtuoso, 1679, we find, at I, i:
LONG[VIL]: A Wit! 'faith, he might as well have call'd thee a Dromedary.
SIR SAM[UEL HEARTY]: Peace, I say; Tace is Latin for a Candle.
It occurs in Swift, Fielding, Grose (1788), Scott; then in dialect. (Apperson.) The pun is double; tace in L.=be silent; a candle is snuffed out or otherwise extinguished. Cf brandy is Latin for a goose.
Thomas Aloysius Dorgan ('Tad'), born 1877 in San Francisco, became famous as a satirical cartoonist and, later, sports commentator, first on the San Francisco Bulletin (1892-1902) and then on the New York Journal (1902 onwards). To the New York Times Magazine of 23 April 1978, that brilliant American humorist Sidney Joseph Perelman (b. 1904) who, in 1924, began his career on the old Judge weekly, contributed an entertaining, witty, affectionate memoir on Tad' as a man and as an artist and commentator, with particular attention to his single-term (ordinary slang) and his catch phrase innovations.
It was he who coined the phrases, 'Yes, we have no bananas', '23-skiddoo, ' 'See what the boys in the back room will have, ' 'Officer, call a cop, ' and 'Let him up, he's all cut' [drunk]. Among the other apothegms he invented, still part of our common speech, were such daisies as 'The first hundred years are the hardest, ' 'The only place you'll find sympathy is in the dictionary' and 'Half the world are squirrels and the other half are nuts.' [A pun on squirrel, a hoarder, and on nut, a crazy person, and nuts, crazy.] Tad evolved the catch phrase 'nobody home' to denote incomprehension, witlessness, or downright idiocy in those he was shafting. Daily on the sidelines of his 'Indoor Sports, ' there appeared one or another of his repertory figures uttering some fresh orchestration of the idiom, as, for instance, 'Nobody home but the telephone and that's in the hands of the receiver' or 'Nobody home but the oyster and that's in the stew' or 'Nobody home but the flatiron and that's got a pressing engagement.'
Mr Perelman also refers to the patterns you tell 'em…, as in 'You tell 'em, goldfish, you've been round the globe' and 'You tell 'em, corset, you've been around the girls', and I'm the guy who…, as in 'I'm the guy who put salt in the ocean', and 'I'm the guy who put pep in pepper'.