Wasn't I a dish


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Sep 1, 2004
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I read this on Back to Titanic: Have you been through the inspection queue?
The original screenplay had Old Rose stating that, "Wasn't I a hot number?" after seeing the drawing below water. Gloria Stuart and Cameron decided that line was not in character for Rose and changed the line to, "Wasn't I a dish?"
Does anybody can to explain me, what is difference between "hot number" and "dish"?

Thank you very much
Vitezslav Ivicic
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Does anybody can to explain me, what is difference between "hot number" and "dish"? <<

In the context of the scripting, none whatever beyond the writer thinking it would be something Old Rose would be more likely to use.
 

Kyrila Scully

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The difference is that "dish" is more authentic to the character than "hot number." Both are slang terms, but were used by different generations. A woman of Rose's age would have tended to use slang more contemporary to her youthful years than slang of a later generation. That means that "dish" would have been slang for a very beautiful woman in Rose's youth, while "hot number" would have been slang for a very beautiful woman in a later generation.

I hope you are able to understand this explanation. If not, I will try to simplify it for you further.

Kind regards,
Kyrila Scully
 
Aug 29, 2000
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The online etymological dictionary is not as good as the famous Oxford one, but it lists "Hot tomato" as originating around 1929, "dishy" in 1961, and "to have somebody's number" as meaning you have somebody figured out goes all the way back to 1853. Not only era, but region plays a big part as well. In New England a "hot tomato", a "hot number" and a "hot tamale" are all hot stuff if you're looking for a date on Saturday night! Here's the link for hours of fun-
 

Bob Godfrey

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'Dishy' as an adjective certainly is 1960s, but 'dish' as a noun is much earlier - the OED offers 'early twentieth century'. And I offer James Cagney, meeting Mae Clarke in Public Enemy (1931): "You're a swell dish. I think I'm gonna go for you."

97159.jpg

Gloria Stuart in earlier times - quite a dish.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Actually both expressions date from the (probably late) 1920s as American college slang. It was Gloria Stuart who suggested that the original line was "too vulgar", and Cameron wisely figured she would know best, as she was herself both a dish and a hot number back then! As the story goes, Gloria later sent a note with the joking request: "Dear Mr Cameron, I am not a member of the Writers Guild. However, I think you will notice that the only laugh in the film I wrote, and I would like credit and a little payment." Cameron (with a smile on his face) was quick to respond with his own note: "No credit and not a penny". :)
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