fan-hitting (classified)

Jeff Prucher jprucher at YAHOO.COM
Tue Oct 14 22:34:39 UTC 2008

At 10/14/2008 12:49 PM, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>the Feghoot stories date from 1956-73, so it's possible Brunvand knew
>of the term "feghoot" for the subtype of shaggy dog stories that end
>in atrocious punning, spoonerisms, etc. (check the wikpedia entries
>for "feghoot" and "shaggy dog story").  but someone should be able to
>check his 1963 paper.

I'd be surprised if Brunvand had called them feghoots in 1963, even if he was aware of the stories. The earliest citation I found for "feghoot" is from 1961, but it refers to one of the eponymous stories. (This was probably one of the ones turned up the last time we discussed feghoots here.)  All the citations I have from the 1960s refer to the eponymous series. The first generic reference I've found is from 1981, in J. Charlton's "Bred Any Good Rooks Lately?" This is almost certainly too late for the generic, but probably not eighteen years too late.  (I would, of course, be happy to be corrected.) These things are sometimes called "Ferdinand Feghoots."

Jeff Prucher

The American Dialect Society -

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