"gomer" (was: Air Force Language (1962); Medical Slang (1994))
laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jul 26 03:02:10 UTC 2001
At 9:08 AM +0100 7/26/01, Jonathon Green wrote:
> > However, I wonder: why did Gomer Pyle receive the name Gomer in the first
>> place? Gomer is a biblical name (e.g., Genesis 10:2) and it is also an
>> English and/or Welsh family name, and it was used as a given name before
>> Gomer Pyle. Perhaps it was regarded as a name suitable for a bumpkin long
>> before the TV character appeared, and perhaps this is why it was chosen
>> Mr. Pyle.
>I have yet to find a cit. for 'gomer' (as 'rustic simpleton') prior to 1960s
>(and as noted in RHDAS it seems to start life as a milit. coinage) but as
>well as acknowledging Gomer Pyle, I note in CDS the UK dialect _gaum_, which
>is defined in the Eng. Dial. Dict. (1907, drawing on late 18C/19C research)
>as 'a lout, a gaping, idle fellow.' EDD's cits. for the n. all come from
>Ireland and the term presumably travelled the Atlantic..
I seem to recall rustic--or non-rustic--simpletons also being dubbed
"Homer" (well back before Homer Simpson, whose dubbers may have
exploited this tendency).
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