Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Mar 2 20:26:23 UTC 2008

As HDAS generously indicates, "boondockers" was the Marine Corps name for their rugged "field shoes" of WWII and later.  The word was soon more widely applied.

  Though Google Books finds a few exx. back to the 1980s (only), the shortening to "boondocks" is a novelty to the editor.


Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Wilson Gray
Subject: Boondocks

In my youth, in BE, "boondocks" was the slang term for combat boots or
for (work)boots that resembled them. The equivalent of standard "out
in the boondocks" was "out in the country" or "out in the woods." The
latter term tended to be rather literal. When I was a child, my father
took me with him on a trip to see someone who lived out in the woods.
The man and his family lived in a log cabin in a clearing literally
out in the East-Texas piney woods, at the end of a dirt "trace" or
track. It was there that I first saw swine in my, at that time, very
short life. I remember them as running loose around his cabin, but
they were most likely in a pen. IAC, those weird snouts freaked me out
so much that I was afraid to get out of the car.

Since those days, however, I have often had occasion to enjoy swine
snouts in the form of barbecued snoots, a Saint Louis speciality, but
they're also easily available in South-Central Los Angeles.

And, also since then, I've heard and read stories of people falling or
being thrown into pig pens and being eaten alive. They make me glad
that I didn't get out of the car.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Sam'l Clemens

The American Dialect Society -

Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.  Try it now.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list