conked/konked hair (1943)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Dec 28 08:06:09 UTC 2005

On 12/28/05, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at> wrote:
> 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]
> -----

Even earlier, from 1935...

1935 _Chicago Defender_ 12 Oct. 9/5 If "Dig that high-jivin' chick
layin' here racket over at my crib, with those conked rug-cutters"
isn't Harlemese for "Look at that ritzy miss trying to make an
impression in my home with those slick-haired ballroom dancers" then
sue the fellow who told me it was.
[HNP Doc ID 761075942]

--Ben Zimmer

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