conked/konked hair (1943)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Dec 28 05:02:57 UTC 2005

conk, v. 'to treat (hair) with congolene so as to straighten it'
HDAS has 1944 for "unconked hair", 1957 for "conked hair".

1943 _Chicago Defender_ 20 Apr. 18/1 Did you notice that Maurice
(boogie waiter) Warner has his hair konked (tee, hee).
[HNP Doc ID 741369712]
1944 _Chicago Defender_ 3 June 16/2 Yes, they have their hair "conked"
and the little fly girls have on their socks and short dresses and are
ready to jitterbug at the drop of the hat.
[HNP Doc ID 746380532]
1944 _Chicago Defender_ 21 Oct. 12/7 Others conk their hair down and
it gleams as brilliantly as if they were born in India and looks fine.
[HNP Doc ID 741526302]

(Last cite from a column by Langston Hughes.)

--Ben Zimmer

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