Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Aug 16 03:23:41 UTC 2000

i feel somewhat apologetic about asking a slightly serious
question in the context of general playfulness... but i've
never been quite sure how to interpret spin-off terms like
BUPPIE and GUPPIE (both of which i've heard used as actual
descriptors, sometimes without any playful intent).  are they,
like YUPPIE, acronymic? [YUP 'young urban professional', BUP
'black urban professional', GUP 'gay urban professional']
or are they parasitic on YUPPIE, with its semantics *plus*
the semantics associated with the B or G that replaces the Y?

to personalize this somewhat, there was a time when i was a
GUPPIE in either sense (a time when we we young and gay, as
cornelia otis skinner, i think, put it).  i continue to be
acronymically a GUPPIE, but i'm long past the years when i
could be described as a letter-substitutive GUPPIE.

maybe GUPPIE and BUPPIE are ambiguous, between a narrower and
a broader sense.  things like this are not unknown.

or possibly vague.  it's so hard to tell.

arnold (zwicky at, trusting that palo alto
  does indeed count as urban and that one course a quarter
  at stanford still counts as professional

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