a late WOTY entrant: "Shopdropping"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Dec 25 03:14:26 UTC 2007

At 7:41 PM -0600 12/24/07, Dan Goodman wrote:
>Laurence Horn wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>Subject:      a late WOTY entrant:  "Shopdropping"
>>No, it doesn't relate to shopping until one drops.  Rather, according
>>to a front-page article in today's Times,
>>it's "reverse shoplifting", characterized by "surreptitiously putting
>>things in stores, rather than illegally taking them out".
>>Motivations vary.  (See also http://shopdropping.net/, where you will
>>learn that the verb "shopdrop" also exists, although I suspect it may
>>be a back-formation.
>>From the Internet Speculative Fiction Data Base (http://isfdb.org):
>Title: The Shopdropper
>Author: Alan Nelson
>Year: 1955
>The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, January 1955, (Jan 1955,
>Anthony Boucher, Fantasy House, Inc., $0.35, 132pp, Digest, magazine)
>Cover: Nick Solovioff
>Great Science Fiction About Doctors, (1963, Groff Conklin, Noah D.
>Fabricant, Collier Books, #AS 518, $0.95, 412pp, pb, anth)
>I suspect the term's been reinvented, rather than picked up from an
>obscure, decades-old science fiction story.
But is it really the same term?  Is there any indication of what the
eponymous "shopdropper" in that 1955 story actually did?  I seem to
have misplaced my copy.  If there's no historical link to or shared
meaning with the current "shopdrop", I'd think it counts as a
different term, and at least I found the current word and its
relatives pretty opaque.  There are a handful of Nexis hits, all with
that same meaning ("shoplifting in reverse"), but not predating 2005.
Looks pretty plausible for a WOTY candidacy, even if it's in the Ron
Paul or Dennis Kucinich category of candidate...


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list