Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon Feb 10 03:37:04 UTC 2003

when you're out to everybody as a linguist, people give you
language stuff.  here's an offering from one of my shapenote
singing friends:

Date: Sun, 09 Feb 2003 18:55:10 -0800
From: Karen Schaffer <kschaffer at>
Subject: trustafarian
To: Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at>

This was the usage:

"This is based on personal experience, much observation (I live in
what has to have the highest number of trustafarians per capita in the
U.S.), and some blatantly unfair prejudice."

When someone asked about the term, the writer said:

"I thought it was local, and inspired by a particular individual --
the brother of a fairly famous pop-rock singer, a photographer who is
still dining out on his stories about living and photographing in
Jamaica, the musicians he knew, the weed he smoked, etc., etc., circa
1970 -- but some people I know in fairly far-flung places have heard
it, and even more _instanteously_ know what it means, even if they've
never heard it before."

In a private e-mail, the first writer says that the photographer the
term was originally coined for is Peter Simon, brother of Carly and
son of Simon of Simon & Schuster. She (and he) live on Martha's

Someone else said that it shows up in Jon Courtenay Grimwood's novel
Pashazade, in reference to the main character.


arnold (zwicky at

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