Sock It To Me
I find that the term “Sock it to me” had to be the strangest buzz phrase of all time. Originally it meant, “ Give it (respect) to me” or to Mark Twain it meant “put it bluntly.” Later it took on a new sexual meaning when Jazz musicians took the phrase over. The actual phrase was taken from a hit record entitled 'Respect' (1967) recorded by Aretha Franklin, which featured a chorus repeating 'Sock it to me' quite rapidly in the background.
The phrase quickly resurfaced with Judy Carne on the TV show, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In. Judy would say the phrase and have water dumped on her. Other characters in the show took up the phrase as well as guest that appeared on the show such as Richard Nixon who said “Sock it to ME???” Hubert Humphrey was invited on the show as well but declined. Humphrey was heard later saying that this might have cost him the election. Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels closed up the movement by adding more over-use to the term and then it finally died with the 60’s.
Fortunately, “Sock it to me” has not become a retro mainstay lexicon. It is merely a touch stone for those that were there and those that wish to forget. It reminds us that we should take great care in the phrases we choose to represent an entire generation.