[Ads-l] anachronism watch--or OED lapse?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 25 06:39:33 UTC 2015


(I hit the wrong button.) To continue...

1887 _St. Louis Globe-Democrat_ (July 10) 15: A Regular Guy...one easily
duped or fooled. A common expression is, "Hollo, boys, another guy." ...

2. A fellow; chap.

1893 _MIlwaukee Jrnl._ (Jan. 13) 8: Saay, wot

On Mon, May 25, 2015 at 2:36 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> I'd like to see a little more context for "1876," regardless of sex.
>
> I've collected the following material in the last couple of years:
>
> GUY, n. 1.a. A ridiculous, freakish-looking, or freakishly dressed person.
>
> 1862 _Eve. Bulletin_ (S.F.) (Aug. 13) 1: Our officers...dress like regular
> "guys," wear mutton-pie caps, baggy trousers, and bob-tail coats...as thick
> and course as a horse blanket. ...
>
> b. A figure of fun; a person who is a ridiculous spectacle.
>
> 1871 _Plain Dealer_ (Cleve. O.) (Apr. 24) 2: If he didn't make such an old
> guy of himself. ...
>
> c. A foolish-acting or useless old man; geezer; a man who is a fool.
>
> 1880 _Rocky Mountain News_ (Denver) (May 9) 10: I'll scoop the old guy
> yet. Ibid. (July 25) 8: Oh, hold up your hands you old guy.
>
>
> JL
>
> On Sun, May 24, 2015 at 9:03 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:      anachronism watch--or OED lapse?
>>
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> I was wondering about an exchange taking place in 1920 between two women =
>> in a novel, _The Paris Wife_, by Paula McLain:
>>
>> Hadley Richardson: "You're a good guy, Kate."
>> Kate Smith:              "You too, Hash."
>>
>> Kate is Kate Smith, not the singer, but a friend of Hadley Richardson; =
>> Richardson is about to marry Ernest Hemingway, with whom Kate (as she =
>> has just conceded) had previously herself been in love.  The two friends =
>> have now reconciled, and some time later Hadley and Hemingway divorce, =
>> while Kate Smith marries Hem's drinking and writing buddy John Dos =
>> Passos.  Anyway, did women in fact use singular "guy", in non-vocative =
>> uses, in 1920?  The OED would expect not
>>
>> Draft Additions October 2011:
>>
>> colloq. As a form of address to a man (cf. sense 3d). Also in pl. as a =
>> form of address to a group of people, in later use sometimes a mixed or =
>> all-female group.
>>
>> Sample cites are mostly plural, and include one from Dos Passos himself:
>>
>> 1876   Punch 14 Dec. 307   Look guys, court thumps and lumps!1918   =
>> Stars & Stripes 5 Apr. 1/5   Tell you what, guy... This is better than =
>> what they useter be.
>> 1930   J. Dos Passos 42nd Parallel i. 102   Say, yous guys, this is =
>> fellowworker McCreary.
>> 1949   Los Angeles Times 6 Nov. ii. 7/1 (heading)    Hey, guys! He's =
>> here. Santa gets set for early rush.
>> 1993   M. Crichton Disclosure i. 22   Fuck 'em all. This reorg sucks. =
>> I'm with you on this one, guy.
>>
>> Well, yes, but we know it's also used, and has been for some time, in =
>> referential or predicative (and in any case non-address) use for a woman =
>> as well as a man.  But for how long?  HDAS nicely clarifies matters:
>>
>> 2b.  a person of either sex, regarded as decent, down-to-earth, good =
>> company, etc. [...]
>> [which is exactly how Hadley and Kate are using it above]
>>
>> Jon's cites for this postdate the relevant time frame, but not by
>> much:=20=
>>
>>
>> 1927 E. O'Neill [in a letter] "She's a 'real guy'. You'd like her =
>> immensely."
>> 1929 Asch, _Pay Day_, "Be a good guy, Ma, and wait a couple of days."
>>
>> So maybe McLain's version of Hadley and Kate are jumping the gun a =
>> little, but not by much.  The OED seems to need a somewhat more gender- =
>> and register-inclusive draft entry.=20
>>
>> LH
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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