fan-hitting (classified)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Oct 14 23:41:55 UTC 2008

On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 6:34 PM, Jeff Prucher <jprucher at> wrote:
> 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.

Brunvand doesn't use the term. His label for the "fit hits the Shan"
genre is "Stories with Punning Punch Lines." ("If the Foo shits" is
also listed in this category, collected in 1959.)

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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