[Ads-l] The UD isn't _always_ worthless!

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 22 07:44:43 EDT 2016

BTW, my impression is that "sissy," applied to children, always means
"coward," but applied to men always means  'effeminate homosexual,' except
fig., of course.

OED doesn't bother to differentiate these two distinct senses. (Millions
who use the "coward" sense have never even heard of the other one, IMO.)

The earliest attestations are from the late 19th C.  Understandably they
refer only to children.  (Grownups: OED 1969, HDAS files 1914.)


On Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 7:34 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> Against the judgment of the editor, HDAS was compelled to prefer the
> spelling "booty" on the OCD principle that the most frequently encountered
> orthography must determine the shape of the lemma.  At least there's a
> cross-ref. at "boody"!
> HDAS exx. go back to 1926.  A much later memoir places "boody" [sic] in
> Kansas several years before that. (Complete with grade-school students
> giggling at the  homophonous "booty.")
> JL
> On Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 4:27 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>> _Boody_
>> booty _Boody is the traditional spelling for the word booty_. The spelling
>> 'booty' became the accepted spelling at 70's band KC and the Sunshine Band
>> had a popular hit called Shake Your Booty.
>> "Man, she's got a big boody"
>> #booty #ass #backporch #groundround #catcher's mitt
>> by JimmyCatfish June 22, 2006
>> Not when it agrees with me, anyway!
>> In fact, of course, it would be great to have a cite. But it's very
>> difficult to find a cite for a word unknown in the standard language and
>> that's also considered obscene in BE. I personally have found nothing
>> older
>> than the record-titles "Boodie Green"/"Boo-Dee Green," dating only from
>> 1950 and 1959, resp., IIRC.
>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9dLY8qBGz0
>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbeQ3RLchf4
>> My interpretation of the not-obvious spellings is that they are
>> euphemism-equivalents due to the word's perceived obscenity, as is also
>> the
>> case with _sissy_ re-spelled as _cissy_ in the record-titles, "Cissy
>> Strut"/"Sophisticated Cissy," wherein its meaning is understood to be
>> "fag(got)," though neither record has any words.
>> --
>> -Wilson
>> -----
>> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
>> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>> -Mark Twain
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> 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."

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list