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

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 25 06:43:16 UTC 2015


(It happened again.)

1893 _MIlwaukee Jrnl._ (Jan. 13) 8: Saay, wot do youse guys want up here?...

But you get the picture.

JL

On Mon, May 25, 2015 at 2:39 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> (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."
>



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

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