antedating "hobo" 1885

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 27 17:29:13 UTC 2009

On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 10:44 PM, Randy Alexander
<strangeguitars at>wrote:

> On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 5:06 AM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at> wrote:
> >> >>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.
> >>
> >> Well, technically, I would argue that in <boyo>, the <y> is not a
> >> "consonant letter", but a vowel letter, which is why I invoked the
> >> diphthonginess factor. Ā (Weren't we always taught that the vowels are
> >> "a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y"? Ā And isn't this one of those times?
> >> Or is that just for "cycle", "by", and such?) Ā So if the boyo is
> >> wearing a diphthong, he's got only one consonant letter to his name.
> >>
> > I don't think the 1885 readers of the cite would have been thinking in
> > those terms.
> Why not?  Consciously or not they would have to divide it somewhere,
> and there only seem to be two choices: boy-o and bo-yo.  If you think
> 1885 readers would favor the latter (if I'm understanding you
> correctly that way), I'm curious as to why you would think so.

Oops, I was too literal, focusing on terminology & notation. Yes, I agree
with you: boy-o, for the original readers as for us.

m a m

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