bodacious, c1936

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Fri Apr 29 19:02:45 UTC 2005

On Fri, 29 Apr 2005 13:43:02 -0500, Mullins, Bill
<Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL> wrote:

>I've often heard the word in the phrase "bodacious tatas" (big boobs),
>so it may also mean "bosomy" in the quotes below.

Yeah, but "bodacious tatas" only dates to 1982, from _An Officer and a
Gentleman_ It's generally assumed that the 'sexually attractive' sense of
the mid-'80s derives from the line in the movie, so I was surprised to see
cites suggesting that this sense was around 50 years earlier.

--Ben Zimmer

>> Also from 1936 are two cites from an Indiana gossip column
>> that seem to fit the sense 'sexually attractive' (from 1985
>> in HDAS), though I suppose they might also fit the 'daring'
>> or 'impressive' senses...
>> -----
>> 1936 _Hammond Times_ (Ind.) 31 Jan. 1/2 Charles Esola, the
>> youthful assistant city attorney, is being kidded about the
>> increase in his harem.
>> Five more bodacious females will aid him in the city
>> ordinance codification.
>> -----
>> 1936 _Hammond Times_ (Ind.) 19 Feb. 1/2 Secret operatives are
>> attempting to discover for whom Pauline Carlson, bodacious
>> blonde of the city controller's office, autographed a
>> photograph of herself.
>> -----

More information about the Ads-l mailing list