"Wop" in 1908?
Baker, John M.
JMB at STRADLEY.COM
Thu Apr 29 21:16:55 UTC 2010
What do the lyrics mean when they say that his ex-girlfriend has
"got big mattress and a blond-a curl"? Presumably it's not the literal
meaning of "mattress." I'm also a bit bemused to see the assertion that
she "walk joust like a big Kangaroo," in a context that seems to imply
that this would be an attractive thing to do.
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2010 4:54 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: "Wop" in 1908?
James Brockman's novelty song, "Wop, Wop, Wop!" (N.Y.: Witmark, 1908
actually copyright Feb. 3, 1909]) may have helped popularize the word.
Acc. to the N.Y. _Eve. Telegram_ (July 29, 1909) (findable here if
got lots of time:
it was "one of the quaintest Italian novelty songs of the many that have
been offered to the public the last two or three years. It is by no less
person than Mr. James Brockman [1886-1967: ed.], the well known writer
"The story, told in a serio-comic way, tells of the troubles of an
whose feelings are injured by the various nicknames given him in this
country, and deals with his efforts in trying to prevent being called
'Dago,' then 'Guinie,' and last of all, 'Wop.'
"Mr. Brockman has set the words to a tuneful and pleasing little melody
makes it a particularly bright song for a part of the social programme."
Check out the lyrics. They imply that "wop" was something new:
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
More information about the Ads-l