possible antedate of indiscriminative "whatever"?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 24 03:05:16 UTC 2006



On 7/23/06, sagehen <sagehen at westelcom.com> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: possible antedate of indiscriminative "whatever"?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >The semantics of interjections can be so slippery!
> >
> >I remember, in the 4th or 5th grade, encountering the word "pshaw" in a
> >spelling textbook (are those still called "spellers"?  Do they still
> >EXIST?).  Half a century later, I still have never heard anyone SAY
> >"pshaw"; I don't know how it would sound (in what dialect) or precisely
> >what it would mean . . . .
> >
> >--Charlie
>  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> The P is silent.  I don't think I've heard anyone say this since 1945, when
> my father, who used the expression "Oh, pshaw!" often, died.  He was born
> in 1878 in Ohio, so his idiolect exhibited a lot of 19th Cent features
> that were otherwise rarely heard in the middlewestern speech of my
> childhood.
> As for meaning.......?  Hmmm.  I suppose it stood for "what a shame" most
> often, but sometimes merely casting doubt, as in "oh, pooh."  My brother &
> I at that time would probably have said "oh, foo!" after the comic strip
> "Smokey Stover."
> AM
>  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> W stands for >:<  War ____Waste___Wiretaps____Witchhunts  >:<
>  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have
found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be
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Frederick Douglass

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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