space case (1976), waste case (1986)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Thu Oct 6 06:12:03 UTC 2005

On Wed, 5 Oct 2005 15:21:10 -0500, Mullins, Bill wrote:

>> 1989 _Christian Science Monitor_ 11 Oct. 18 (Nexis) I went to
>> a small Jewish high school. We had our share of waste-cases,
>> punks, princesses, brains, geeks, dumb jocks and, yes, cool people.
>This reminds me of the quote from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (1986)
>Grace [Edie McClurg]: "Oh, he's very popular Ed. The sportos,
>motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads - they
>all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude."

(Hmm, eggcorn? Does a "waistoid" waste away from the waist?)

John Hughes must have liked the word "wastoid". He also used it in _The
Breakfast Club_ (1985):

   Andy [Emilio Estevez] to Bender [Judd Nelson]:
   "Yo wastoid, you're not gonna blaze up in here."

In "Zoos, Tunes, and Gweeps--A Dictionary of Campus Slang" (_WPI Journal_
1988, _Journal of Higher Education_ Jan. 1990), Elise Hancock helpfully
defines "wastoid" as "a drunken burnout".

--Ben Zimmer

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