Query: Slang "Cool!" in 1868?

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Nov 22 21:18:54 UTC 2011

On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 4:00 PM, David A. Daniel wrote:
> I read your cool "On Language" article. Cool. But if the Times kerfuffle
> broke out over anachronistic use of cool (modern sense, old timeframe) then
> I'd say you could have created one of your own by saying "white
> teeny-boppers circa 1952." To my knowledge there were no teeny-boppers,
> labeled as such, until the mid-60's. No?

Touché. Some sort of variation of Muphry's Law at work there.

[I said:}
> The example from Wilkie Collins was discussed here last year, when
> George Thompson brought our attention to a debate over "cool" in the
> letters to the editor section of TLS.

(By which I meant that GT brought the debate to our attention.)


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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