origin of "wuss" or "wussie" ??

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Tue May 25 03:07:02 UTC 2004

What I offer may have NOTHING to do with the word "wus, wuss, wussie" that seems to have entered the language in the late 1960's/early 1970's to mean a person who is a wimp.

I buy things for a living.  Today, someone came in with some stamped envelopes/first day covers, etc.  There was one that caught my eye and I pulled it and brought it home.  It MAY solve a puzzle.  Or not.

The cover is dated 1954.  It was issued to commemorate a stamp exhibt in Reading, PA.  The images on the cover concern the Pennsylvania Dutch, and their expressions.  I'll list them verbatim from the cover.

"When we try to talk too fancy like, it don't come out so good.  But in plain old Pennsylvanina Dutch, things sound just like they should." / ''Chakie is such a little wutzie."(picture of a Pa-Dutch kid who appears to be a 'goody-goody'/ Sarah's spritzin' the grass."(picture of a Pa-Dutch-clothed girl watering the grass/ "When the little red house comes, the train is all."(two Pa-Duch kids watching a train go by(caboose=red house?)/ "Chrissley's tooth ouches him."Pa-Dutch kid with bandage wrapped around his head, containing bad tooth.)

Does the "Chakie is such a little wutzie" mean "Jackie is such a wussie" ???????

That's my reading of it.   Any ideas here?

What does/did 1950's Pa-Dutch "wutzie" mean???

Sam Clements

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