Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jan 20 14:35:02 UTC 2005

Doug, this is my first encounter with "copathetic."  Whatever its significance, the occurrence of this form is so far unique.


"Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Douglas G. Wilson"
Subject: Re: copacetic?

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:

<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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