New racist etymology

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 15 06:17:12 UTC 2013

Thanks, Jon! I once again left my HDAS at home and unable to dig things
up before sending, but, at least, it prompted a mind reevaluation.

"Young buck private" was the thing that made the most sense if "buck
private" was in use going back to the Civil War. Still wondering,
though, why "young buck" or "buck" would imply the lowest ranks (has
some growing to do?).


On 3/14/2013 8:53 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> buck soldier: HDAS, 1865.
> buck private: HDAS, 1874.
> buck sergeant: HDAS, 1934.
> buck general: HDAS, 1944-46.
> Since "buck private" had the frequent synonym "buck," I have little doubt
> that it comes from "young buck private/ soldier."
> JL

The American Dialect Society -

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