[Ads-l] Adidas -- All Day I dream about . . . (UNCLASSIFIED)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 12 05:41:54 UTC 2014

Back in April 2014 there was a discussion of the backronym: Adidas:
All Day I Dream about Sex

I mentioned an ambiguous 1984 citation in JSTOR.  The Mississippi
Review of Fall 1984 contained a story titled "All Day I Dream about
Sex" by W. P. Osborn. Last April when I used the JSTOR search engine I
was unable to find the brand name "Adidas" within the story. Also, I
did not read the story because I was unable to download it at that

Recently, the author W. P. Osborn contacted me via email. He stated
that he selected the title while being aware of the backronym. The
story contained an athletic shoe with a description that matched an
Adidas shoe, e.g., it had three stripes. The shoe was an important
element of the tale; however, the brand name Adidas was not mentioned
directly in the text.

I think this citation can be used as evidence that the backronym was
circulating in 1984. This was not the earliest known citation. Yet,
multiple citations can be helpful.

I have now downloaded the tale. Here are some details:

Date: Fall, 1984
Journal: Mississippi Review
Volume: 13
Article title: All Day I Dream about Sex
Author: W. P. Osborn
Start Page: 106
Quote Page: 106
Publisher: University of Southern Mississippi
Link: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20134016

[Begin excerpt]
Often, visitors threw food to the hippopotamus, half-eaten ice cream
bars. The other day an athletic shoe appeared. The hippopotamus
rumbled over to it immediately. He picked at the laces with his
cylindrical foreteeth until the knots came loose, tongued the Persian
blue nylon until it shone pristine, and finally separated the pinked
edge of one of the three white leather stripes from the nylon upper.
[End excerpt]


On Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 9:14 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Based on extracted text and snippets the backronym may have been
> mentioned during a set of interviews in 1976. I have not checked this
> information on paper (or full scans) so it may be wrong. I looked in
> JSTOR, and I do not think that this journal is in the JSTOR database.
> Journal: Southwest Folklore
> Volumes: 4-5
> Quote Page: 79
> Publisher: Arizona Friends of Folklore, Flagstaff, Arizona
> (Google Books snippet view; data may be inaccurate)
> [Being extracted text]
> This transition stage is further evidenced by the 1976 interviewees'
> experimentation with the names of brand-name items by means of a
> remarkable complex and sophisticated use of acronyms:
> (17) Pony shoes became Piss on New York;
> (18) Puma shoes became Piss under my ass;
> (19) Adidas shoes became All day I dream about sex.
> [End extracted text]
> JSTOR has the following article title in 1984, but there was no match
> for Adidas in the text according to the search engine. The allusion
> might still be present, of course:
> All Day I Dream about Sex
> W. P. Osborn
> Mississippi Review, Vol. 13, No. 1/2 (Fall, 1984), pp. 106-116
> The following 1989 article in JSTOR mentioned the initialism "All Day
> I Dream About Sex" for Adidas but did not give a date.
> Rewriting Initialisms: Folk Derivations and Linguistic Riddles
> Nicholas Howe
> The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 102, No. 404 (Apr. - Jun.,
> 1989), pp. 171-182
> Garson
> On Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 7:32 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>> Subject:      Re: Adidas -- All Day I dream about . . . (UNCLASSIFIED)
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> On Apr 11, 2014, at 3:45 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
>>> On Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 2:53 PM, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at ameritech.net> wrote:
>>>> I heard this from my cousin back in 1979 or 1980, when we visited them at their
>>>> lake house in North Carolina. He held up his Adidas t-shirt for me and said it. I
>>>> also posted about it here a few years ago when the subject of backronyms came
>>>> up, but can't easily search for it right now.
>>> That squares with my own childhood memory. And here it is in a 1980 or
>>> 1981 issue of _Southwest Folklore_:
>>> http://books.google.com/books?id=zbMnAQAAIAAJ&q=adidas
>>> --bgz
>> Well, Adidas comes off (as it were) better than Puma, anyway.
>> LH
>>>>> On Apr 11, 2014, at 1:40 PM, "Mullins, Bill CIV (US)" wrote:
>>>>> Barry Popik recently posted on the backronym:  Adidas = All Day I Dream About Sex/Soccer/Sports, taking it back to 1993.
>>>>> http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/all_day_i_dream_about_sports/
>>>>> From Newsbank:
>>>>> The Dallas Morning News - Tuesday, April 28, 1987 p 1b
>>>>> "To me, it's better to win and hurt a little, than lose and hurt a lot,' says Crenshaw, who has written 'all day I dream about state' vertically from each letter in the word Adidas on his cleats."
>>>>> St. Petersburg Times - Tuesday, August 23, 1988 p 4
>>>>> " "It seems like I've always loved soccer," she said.  When she was 8 years old, Tina wrote a letter to adidas telling the company just how much. She wrote a letter using each of the letters to spell out a message: "All Day I Dream About Soccer." "
>>>>> USA TODAY - Tuesday, May 16, 1989 p 1d
>>>>> " For instance, everywhere he goes, he asks kids if they know a double meaning for the sneaker name Adidas - and everywhere he goes, the kids know it means "All day I dream about sex." "
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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