[Ads-l] Origin of the term "Cry Wolof"

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Tue Oct 6 18:32:28 UTC 2015

On Tue, Oct 06, 2015 at 01:59:27PM -0400, Ben Zimmer wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 1:50 PM, Z Rice wrote:
> >
> > In discussing the term "Cry Wolof", I realized that it's origin is being
> > attributed to two different people. I've been told that the term was made
> > popular by Jesse Sheidlower, while a few ADS posts (I believe even Gary
> > Wilson on the mailing list) seem to attribute its origin to Laurence Horn.
> >
> > Does anyone know who originated the term and when?
> I believe Larry gets credit -- he used it in an ADS-L post on Dec. 6, 2004:
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2004-December/043326.html
> Then Jesse popularized it in his Slate piece published two days later:
> http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hey_wait_a_minute/2004/12/crying_wolof.html

Hmm. I'm rather sure that in the original piece, I explicitly gave
credit to Larry (perhaps in the author-bio section), but that seems to
have been removed. The oldest version on the Wayback Machine doesn't
show this credit, though.

But in any case, since it doesn't show this on Slate, I will say here
that yes, I got the expression from Larry.

Jesse Sheidlower

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

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