Early Example of "Wop"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Thu Jan 31 22:49:55 UTC 2002

I don't know what Jon Lighter has in his files for "wop," but the OED has
1914 meaning a foreigner in general and 1915 specifically for a person of
Italian extraction.

In looking through the lyrics of Irving Berlin I see that he had a 1914
song entitled "Hey, Wop":

1914 Irving Berlin _Hey, Wop_ (song) in _Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin_
(2001) 94  "Hey, wop, it's seven o'clock, get up, Sleep-a no more, sleep-a
no more, You wake-a da kids when you make-a da snore.

The lyrics seem to be a caricature of Italian-American speech.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               http://quotationdictionary.com

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