Q: Origin of "slimsy" = "flimsy, frail" (OED2, 1845)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Jun 28 16:08:27 UTC 2012

I am wondering whether "slimsy" arose, or perhaps was reinforced, by
confusion in the 18th century of F ("flimsy") with long S, perhaps
via typesetters' errors.  (The OED says etymology apparently from
"slim".)  It is clearly "slimsy" in Mary Wollstonecraft's 1796 "A
Vindication on the Rights of Women" (see Google Books).  (Of the many
"slimsy's that GB presents from the 18th century, the few others I
looked at are actually F's.)


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