"Dittybop / Dittybopper"

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Thu Feb 3 04:27:04 UTC 2005

When I was a teenager in the 'Fifties in St. Louis,
"dittybop(p)er"/diddybop(per)" was a fairly mild insult that meant
something like "wannabe hipster." There was no verb form.

Unfortunately, when I was in The War, I didn't have occasion to come
into contact with any Morse-code operators. More useless information:
when teletypy is heard on a voice channel, it sounds like Morse code to
the untutored ear. Or at least it did on the equipment available in the
late '50's.

-Wilson Gray

On Feb 1, 2005, at 8:26 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      "Dittybop / Dittybopper"
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> Have discovered that besides their tedious old meanings, so familiar
> that I needn't bore you with them, these words have been used in the
> military with the senses "high-speed Morse operator" and "high-speed
> Morse receiver/transmitter."  To "dittybop" also means "to transmit
> Morse code at high speed."
> Can any of my distinguished colleagues and consultants add anything to
> the above from personal experience ?
> JL
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