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I've seen some use "shine on" to close a letter. What does this mean?

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Not really relevant, but used transitively, it means to deceive! "You're shining me on" is roughly synonymous with "You're pulling my leg". –  Malvolio Jul 26 '12 at 20:46
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4 Answers 4

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When used in this way, it basically means to keep on "shining" or "excelling", or "being a good person".
So, "shine on" as a closing of the letter could be explained like this.

Goodbye, and shine on, Anthony/ Goodbye, and keep excelling, Anthony/Goodbye, and keep being a good person, Anthony.

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+1, Shine on you crazy diamond, Anthony –  Unreason Jun 20 '11 at 12:29
    
@Unreason - Pink Floyd was my first thought as well. However, that isn't even the only awesome song that uses the phrase. –  T.E.D. Jun 20 '11 at 17:08
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This is a rather old turn of phrase. It appears all over the King James Bible, both directly and indirectly. It roughly means "Don't hide from the world what a wonderful person you truly are."

Quite a lot of popular songs use the phrase. Off the top of my head, John Lennon's Instant Karma, Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond, and the old Gospel song This Little Light of Mine. All are rather influential songs in their places.

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The correct meaning for "shine it on"dates back to 1931, when the county of Los Angeles Probation Department established its first forestry camp for at risk youths. This became the model for the federal CCC conservation camps. As part of their uniforms the kids wore hard hats with a silver metal brim, which they were expected to keep highly polished, ie. shiny. While wearing them on a work detail, if another kid attempted to irritate or provoke you usually a friend would counsel you to "shine it, or him, on" meaning to tilt your head down so that the would-be provocateur could only see his own reflection in the brim of your hat.

As result of the five juvenile deaths sustained during the 1955 Hacienda fire juvenile firefighting activities were sharply curtailed. The camps continued to operate but they now engaged in fire prevention such as brush clearance and not in direct fire suppression. I understand that at present there is one probation camp for older youth, Camp Routh, where the kids do fight fires. Don't know if they still wear those shiny helmets, though.

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I'm astounded that you had the answer I was looking for! My mom taught Jr. High in Compton, California back in the day (when it was really bad, 70s–early 90s) and when we got mad at someone for disrespecting us she'd say "just shine it on" meaning "let it go." It's very obscure, but it does make sense! And I went to a school where kids were bused in (including, then, the young Forrest Whittaker). Only the black kids would use it, but I understood it: they'd just shorten it to "Shine..." while holding up their hand and "flinging" the insult away. Thanks, g. m.! –  user42286 Apr 11 '13 at 21:58
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It means that you have an overall positive glow about you as a person. Like your smile or something else is a ray of light shinning. Or your inner light shines extra brightly.

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