"Hooking Up"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed May 21 18:07:04 UTC 2008

On Wed, May 21, 2008 at 1:24 PM, Marc Velasco <marcjvelasco at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, May 21, 2008 at 12:08 PM, William Hamlin <whamlin at u.northwestern.edu> wrote:
> >
> > Northwestern University linguistics students are interested in knowing more
> > about the origin of the phrase "hooking up". Any information would be
> > greatly appreciated, responses can be sent to whamlin at northwestern.edu
> Assuming here you mean the orign of 'hooking up' as in sexual
> encounter (since that's mostly what undergrads are interested in).
> For non-sexiness, the OED has it going back to 1925 (but even then the
> usage already predicts the transactional nature of the meaning to
> come).
> Places to look:
> ** Start here: William Safire:
> http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C07E0D8153EF93BA25755C0A9669C8B63
> Safire dates the terms mainstreaming to 1995.

Connie Eble's slang-collecting students at UNC have reported "hook up"
meaning "to find a partner for romance or sex" since 1985 (see _Slang
and Sociability_).

--Ben Zimmer

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

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