George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Wed Aug 1 15:56:57 UTC 2012

Jonathon Green's Dictionary of Slang has 'wazzock" from 1984, in M.
Harding, When Martians Land in Huddlesfield; his speculation as to origin,
which he ornaments with a "?", is from "wazoo".


On Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 10:07 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu>wrote:

> The Daily Mail called Mitt Romney "Devoid of Charm, offensive and a
> wazzock." (There are numerous variant spellings, including with s instead
> of z, etc..)
> Here, merely, a wild guess, about the etymology, not Romney.
> In "Wazzock? I'm baffled, says comic" by Don Frame, March 3, 2007, comic
> Mike Harding says he used the word as early as 1976, and OED has that: "And
> I looked round. I was alone... Stood there like a wazzock on the pavement."
> In the interview he called it "a jagged pebble of a word" that he heard in
> 1968 or 1969. In the article and in comments there it is claimed: "A rock
> climb named Wazzok by Dave Gregory at Burbage South, Peak district. BMC
> guide book Sheffield-Froggatt Area, 1965; later editions have Wazzock."
> (Stood, pebble, rock--coincidence?)
> http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1000/1000908_wazzock_im_baffled_says_comic.html
> There is such a book, but I have no access to it.
> **If** that rock climb (near in space and time) is, somehow, connected to
> the current sense, why might a rock climb have been given that name?
> Here's the wild guess. There was an African tribe that lived in the
> mountainous area of northeast Uganda (e.g. Moroto) and the nearby area of
> Kenya (e.g. Turkwell), and they served as porters, or as dangers, for
> British mountain climbers. They were called the
> Wasuk.
> E.g.:
> http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt/search?id=mdp.39015046396050;view=image;seq=25;q1=wasuk;start=1;size=10;page=search;orient=0
> The great rift valley; being the narrative of a journey to mount Kenya
> and... (London, 1896). Gregory, J. W. (John Walter), 1864-1932.
> Stephen Goranson
> www.duke.edu/~goranson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

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

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