Posted by: episystechpubs | June 26, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Flip Side

Dear Editrix,

Here’s a good one for you. Where did the phrase “catch you on the flip side” come from?

Sincerely,

Keeping You on Your Toes!

Dear Keeping,

You’re right, you are keeping me on my toes! I thought this sounded like a reference to records (they are these things made of vinyl that we used to put on a machine called a “record player” so we could listen to music); but it is a little more complicated than that.

I’m going to paraphrase what I learned from the radio show, “A Way with Words” since what I heard there was more reliable than some of the information I read.

“Catch you on the flip side” means “See you later.” Indeed, it comes from the days of playing vinyl records, in particular, 45s. The hit song was on side A of the record; a less known song was on the B side of the record, called “the flip side.”

The “A Way with Words” experts said the first time this phrase showed up in print was in 1976, and it was in reference to CB radio users who co-opted the phrase to mean “See you later, on my return trip.” CB radio users also said, “See you on the flip flop.”

Apparently, the phrase made a resurgence in the 1990s and is coming back again.

If you have evidence of anything written before the mid-70s about this phrase (that isn’t in reference to CB radio lingo) the folks on the radio want to talk to you!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services


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