Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Thu Jan 20 03:30:47 UTC 2005

I don't believe the origin of "copasetic" is established, but IMHO it is
possible that the original form was "copathetic". This is still is of
unknown origin but it has a less opaque form ... one could imagine a
fanciful coinage based on "congenial" (or even "cozy") + "sympathetic"
perhaps ("a real copathetic place"), for example.

"Copathetic" can be found just about as early as any spelling of
"copasetic" AFAIK. Phonetically /T/ > /s/ is more likely than /s/ > /T/, I

 From N'archive:


_Evening State Journal_ (Lincoln NE), 3 Dec. 1919: p. 6, col. 3:

<<OTHERWISE THEY ARE VERY COPATHETIC. / Sir: Discussing with Mandy the
becomingness of rubber-tired spectacles, "Yas'm," said Mandy, "I think
they's becoming 'cep I does think they makes a pusson's face look crowded.">>


IMHO this "copathetic" is likely to be the same word as "copasetic". IMHO
the context suggests that "copathetic" may have been considered some sort
of a shibboleth.

-- Doug Wilson

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