Wimp (1920) (different sense?)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Mon Apr 11 02:36:01 UTC 2005

Here are some items which appeared under the byline of Neal R. O'Hara in 1920:


_Syracuse Herald_ (Syracuse NY), 24 Sep. 1920: p. 8:

<<The beauty of the one-arm lunch business is that you've got no Interstate
Commerce commission to disapprove your rates. The only set of wimps that
can disapprove the quick-lunch tariffs are the customers. The customers
disapprove, but they pay.>>


_Syracuse Herald_ (Syracuse NY), 25 Sep. 1920: p. 4:

[humorous hat concepts]

<<The election hat. Looks like $10; sells for $2. Price especially designed
for the wimps that bet a hat on election after reading the expert political


_Syracuse Herald_ (Syracuse NY), 2 Oct. 1920: p. 4:

<<Some chaps are born great, others get that way and still others have
spotlights thrust upon 'em. But there is still a crushing percentage of
wimps that will never run one, two, three in the Greatness league.>>


These (along with the 1920 George Ade example in OED) do not seem to have
"wimp" = outright "sissy"/"coward". "Sucker" might fit, or "bozo", or
simply "guy". All of these wimps are hapless or powerless, but more or less
average citizens as far as I can see.

-- Doug Wilson

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