[Ads-l] "(jump) salty"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 16 19:21:02 UTC 2015


My latest Wall St. Journal column is on "salty" ('exceptionally
bitter, angry, or upset'), which won the Most Likely to Succeed
category in the ADS WOTY voting. I talk about how it's a revival of
African-American slang dating back to the '30s, particularly in the
expression "jump salty" (which has come up on ADS-L several times).

http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-salty-word-with-a-promising-future-1421427784

The column includes a modest antedating for "jump salty," which OED2
has from 1938 and HDAS and GDoS have from 1936:

1935 _Philadelphia Tribune_ 18 July 11/1 Now as far as France and
Italy were concerned, Hitler was jumping salty, spreading that jive.

There are a few other examples from 1935 in the Philadelphia Tribune.
It's interesting that the early examples are found in Philly,
considering how "salty" has persisted in urban slang there.

http://articles.philly.com/2014-02-20/entertainment/47493528_1_dialect-william-labov-slang

--bgz

-- 
Ben Zimmer
http://benzimmer.com/

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


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