antedating "hobo" 1885

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 26 16:10:08 UTC 2009

At 11:37 PM -0400 5/25/09, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>Laurence Horn wrote:
>>Does "boyo" rhyme with "yoyo"?

>Hmm...For me, that's not <CoCo> but <C [diphthong]o>

Sorry; I've been using angle brackets for written forms. <CoCo> means
a word written as any consonant letter + "o" + a consonant letter +
"o", and I'm looking from the perspective of a reader of the cite.

So far in this thread we've mentioned the following <CoCo> words. (I
haven't seen Randy's spreadsheet yet.) All have final /Ow/. The first
two sets are mutually exclusive, as are the second two, but neither
group is exhaustive; "homo" < "homosexual" is listed in both.

* first vowel / Ow /
 - hobo
 - yoyo (ideophonic reduplication); also <yo-yo>; similarly <so-so>
and probably any other hyphenated word
 - Homo (as in "Homo sapiens", "genus Homo", etc.)Â  (OED: also / a Ow / )
 - homo (clipping of "homosexual")

* first vowel / O /
 - toro (effect of _r)
 - boyo / OI /Â Â  (boy + /Ow/)

* clipping pronounced as in full word
 - mono / a / [US]Â  /turned-a/ [UK]
 - homo (clipping of "homosexual")

* written abbreviation, pronounced as in normal spelling
 - boro
 - folo

Two questions (at least) present themselves:
1. Which of the above words would be relevant to the readers of the 1885 cite?
2. How would they tend to pronounce an unfamiliar <CoCo> sequence?

m a m

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list