yippie (January 1968) - response to Gareth Branwyn

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 30 09:27:27 UTC 2009

The Oxford English dictionary (OED 2nd Ed 1989) contains the term
yippie and its first citation is dated April 1968. This can be
antedated to January 1968.

Barry Popik investigated the term yippie and his results are listed on
the following web page:


Popik gives the issue number and page number in the Realist where
Krassner uses the word yippies.

Citation: The Realist, page 21, column 2, Revolution for the Hell of
It: Reason, Let Us Come Together by Paul Krassner, (The date of the
issue is nominally August 1967 but actually January 1968. A note on
the front page says "We're a little late, folks … This is the August
1967 issue being published in January '68 of the Realist (the magazine
of cherry pie and violence)")

Coincidental with the Democrats' Convention there's going to be a
Youth International Party -- YIP -- and Chicago will be invaded by a
mass of yippies. You've just witnessed the birth of a word.


There appear to be differing stories about the origin of yippie and
Youth International Party. Krassner claimed that he came up with the
term yippie as a label in an article in the LA Times in 2007. I am not
sure when he first made this claim. Some of the founding members are
now dead. Jerry Rubin died in 1994 and Abbie Hoffman died in 1989.

Citation: '60s live again, minus the LSD by Paul Krassner, Los Angeles
Times, January 28, 2007.

On the afternoon of Dec. 31, several activist friends gathered at the
Hoffmans' Lower East Side apartment, smoking Colombian marijuana and
planning for Chicago. Our fantasy was to counter the convention of
death with a festival of life.

We needed a name to signify the radicalization of hippies, and I came
up with Yippie as a label for a phenomenon that already existed, an
organic coalition of psychedelic hippies and political activists.


There is another interesting citation that contains the phrase
"Yippie! Hippie!" in January of 1968 in the New York Times.

Citation: "Writers Plan Annual Show", New York Times, Page 95, January 26, 1968.

The Inner Circle, an organization of New York political writers, will
spoof Mayor Lindsay again at its annual lampoon show and dinner
Saturday, March 2, at the New York Hilton Hotel. The show will be
titled "Yippie! Hippie!, or Who Turned John On?" In the last two shows
the Mayor responded with a skit of his own poking fun at himself and
the newsmen.

The NYT article does not contain an explicit reference to the Youth
International Party, and it is possible that "Yippie!" in this article
has its traditional exclamatory meaning. The Inner Circle writers
group may have created an association between yippie and hippie
independently, or they may have known about the connection that the
nascent yippies had already apparently established. It would be
interesting to know when the Inner Circle writers came up with the
name of the lampoon show "Yippie! Hippie!, or Who Turned John On?"


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