Goody Two-Shoes (1924)

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Mon Jun 26 15:00:21 UTC 2006

It's the earliest citation I know of for a general usage of "Goody
Two-Shoes," meaning an overly good person--one that is not a direct
reference to the 1765 book. HDAS, citing W10, has 1934 as the earliest
citation in this sense. The OED doesn't address the general usage at all.

It's also used as an adjective, which I hadn't seen elsewhere, although
adjectival use should not be surprising.

--Dave Wilton
  dave at

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Joel S. Berson
Sent: Monday, June 26, 2006 7:16 AM
Subject: Re: Goody Two-Shoes (1924)


I'm curious as to why this 1924 citation seemed significant to you.


At 6/25/2006 03:49 PM, you wrote:
>There are lots of earlier references to the character and the 18th century
>book. Not so many in purely figurative use. HDAS has 1934 (in W10).
>Los Angeles Times, 30 May 1924, "Callahan Defeated By Adams," p. 9:
>"The two showed much brotherly affection in the first and second round
>thereby bringing a Kansas tornado of yips and catcalls from the angered
>fans. Hollywood bugs brook no Goody-Two-Shoes bouts."
>--Dave Wilton
>   dave at
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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