Chapter & Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

Tobe Kemp asks if anyone can identify sources for two compliments occasionally used by relatives hailing from East Texas: “upstanding and downsitting” and “ambidextrous as well as bifocal.”

Eve Golden is seeking a source for the phrase about an individual who “shall remain nameless, but his initials are Johann Sebastian Bach [or whoever]”—an expression “in wide circulation in many slight variants, but likely encountered in an old movie, one of the romantic/screwball comedies of the 1930s or ’40s. It’s driving me nuts. Any help?”

Send inquiries and answers to “Chapter and Verse,” Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138 or via email to chapterandverse@harvardmag.com.

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