humongous (1967), humongeous (1970)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Fri Apr 29 06:45:44 UTC 2005

* humongous (OED 1970, HDAS 1968, MWCD "circa 1967")

1967 _Cosmos_ (Coe College, Iowa) 5 May 2/4 Maybe at the bottom there will
be something worthwhile that us humble sheep, your poor blind, flock, will
gather around that humongous soapbox in the sky to listen to.

* humongeous (not a listed variant in OED, HDAS)

1970 _Washington Post_ 21 Aug. D7/5 (classifed advt.) Used boats --
humongeous savings on all remaining models!

Does the "humongeous" spelling imply a pronunciation with /-ndZ-/ rather
than /-Ng-/ (perhaps influenced by "hugeous" or "outrageous")?

--Ben Zimmer

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