Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 12 12:53:49 UTC 2012

No new theory, still don't buy it.

If "mutt" was first applied to "muttonheads," there would be some
plausibility, but the record is unclear.

It is hard to believe that so many people would then begin to refer to
dogs, particularly mongrels, as "muttonheads."

I suspect that the word was applied first to worthless dogs, then to
worthless people.

Has anyone done a digital newspaper search?  maybe the solution can now be


On Sun, Aug 12, 2012 at 8:23 AM, David Barnhart <dbarnhart at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       David Barnhart <dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Mutt
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Wilson suggests:
> >I do not think my story is necessarily true, but I can't see any reason to
> uncritically accept the superficially implausible "muttonhead" story if
> there is another contender.
> AHD, NOAD, M-W11, and WNW all draw on the muttonhead theory.
> The venerable ACD treats it probably in the best fashion:
> [orig. obscure; ? Shortened from _muttonhead_]
> Regards,
> David
> barnhart at
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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