Antedating of " Pinko"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Jan 15 19:57:32 UTC 2006

On 1/14/06, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:

> "fatso" < "fat" involves a different readjustment (OK, a bit ad hoc),

No ad-hoc readjustment needed -- "Fatso" < "Fats" = nickname for fat person.

By the way, OED2/MWCD11 date "fatso" to 1944, but the first famous
bearer of the nickname was Fatso Dolan, a character in AD Carter's
comic strip "Just Kids", syndicated nationally from 1922 or 1923.
Fatso's friend Mush Stebbins would often yell, "Hey Fatso!"

(Carter had done an earlier strip in 1916 called "Our Friend Mush",
but I don't know if Fatso appeared in that one.)

The early popularity of "Mush" and "Fatso" was evident in the _Lima
(Ohio) News_, May 15, 1924, p. 14/1. Two girls, aged 12 and 14, used
those names as pseudonyms when writing into Susie Smart's advice

--Ben Zimmer

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