The New York Times yesterday had an article about four UK television series (“Gavin & Stacey,” “Pulling,” “Second Sight,” and “Spy”) and one Australian one (“Rake”) that are being remade in the U.S. It interested me that ABC appears not to be giving a new title to “Pulling,” the original version of which the Times’ Mike Hale describes this way: “Featuring three unrepentantly randy women, it’s brutally frank about sex, booze and lowered expectations, while also being smart and raucously funny.”

The title thing intrigued me because I have never encountered that meaning of pull in the U.S. For the benefit of American readers, here’s the OED definition and citations:

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 9.23.24 AM

I predict that if the show (which stars the excellent Kristen Schaal) ever makes it to air in the U.S., it will be with a new title.

Incidentally, Hale seems to have been inspired by his subject here to use not only randy but another NOOB, in this description of “Rake”: “The protagonist, now called Keegan Joye, will be played by one of American’s most gifted portrayers of kindhearted sleazeballs, Greg Kinnear.”

7 thoughts on ““Pulling”

  1. More examples to go with those citations:

    1979, Squeeze, “Cool for Cats”: “Shake up at the disco/And I think I’ve got a pull/I ask her lots of questions/As she hangs onto the wall”

    The chat-up line “Get your coat, love, you’ve pulled”

    And of course, when you’re “on the pull” (seeking the intimate company of attractive members of the opposite gender), you wear your “pulling pants” (sexy underwear).

  2. An hilarious exposition here from the early 90’s.
    History Today, where two elderly eminent academics hurl insults at each other.

    The first minute or so is relevant here.

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