[Ads-l] Article on "Preppy," "Jock," and "Wonk"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Nov 8 15:16:42 UTC 2014

In the November/December 2014 issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine, my regular column treats the origin of the words "preppy," "jock," and "wonk":


In this column I discuss my long-standing theory that the three words all originated in a tripartite classification of Harvard students, although I have now found that the earliest evidence for "jock" comes from Princeton instead of Harvard.

I have posted most of the citations in this column previously on ADS-L, but one point I have not yet made on this list is that the earliest citation for "preppy," which I previously sourced to the Yale Daily News, Nov. 24, 1951, actually turns out not to be an issue of the Yale Daily News, but rather to be a parody of the YDN produced by the Harvard Crimson.

Fred Shapiro
YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS (Yale University Press)

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

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