green behind the ears (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Wed Oct 15 22:28:07 UTC 2008

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

You found "(not yet) dry behind the ears" in 1873.

[no title] The Daily Ohio Statesman (Columbus, OH) Thursday, May 09,
1850; Issue 846/759; p 3 col D
"Why, you irreclaimable donkey, don't you know the "notice" was an
advertisement?  When <i> will </i> you get dry behind the ears? -- <i>
Springfield Rep., (Whig.)</i>"

And wet behind the ears:

[No title] Kansas City Star 1888-07-25; page 2 col 1
"They are all statesmen in the "sunflower state," from Senators INGALLS
and PLUMB down to the new emigrant who is, figuratively speaking, "still
wet behind the ears." "

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society
> [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Benjamin Zimmer
> Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 4:06 PM
> Subject: green behind the ears
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      green behind the ears
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> -----------------
> Some of you may have noticed Barack Obama use the peculiar
> expression "green behind the ears" in the Oct. 7 presidential
> debate. I explored the history of the phrase in my Word
> Routes column, with a follow-up on Language Log:
> --Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The American Dialect Society -

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