[Ads-l] Antedating of "Wacko"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 22 22:27:22 EDT 2017


On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 10:18 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:34 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:08 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> wacko (OED 1977)
>>>
>>>
>>> 1965 _The Realist_ 1 Feb. 22/2 (Independent Voices)  Hey nures [sic],
>>> you better give him a shot or something, he's goin' wacko!
>>>
>>
>> Good cite for the adjective. In '06, I provided antedatings for "wacko"
>> as a noun going back to 1938 (also OED2 1977).
>>
>> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2006-January/056632.html
>>
>>
> Make that 1936 (with the "whacko" spelling).
>
> State Journal (Lansing, Mich.), Apr. 2, 1936, p. 13, col. 5
> "That One Small Word: Why? Dominates Hauptmann Case"
> Courtney Ryley Cooper (International News Service)
> They've got to pick some whacko who won't want the state capital building
> in return for false imprisonment.
> https://www.newspapers.com/image/207040426/
>

Here's adjectival "whack-o" from 1943.

News Journal (Wilmington, Del.), Jan. 30, 1943, p. 15, col. 4
"The Payoff" (Harry Grayson, NEA Service Sports Editor)
Because of his greater variety of stuff while he was winning from 21 to 26
games a year, not a few trained observers rated Lefty Gomez the superior of
Lefty Grove, but the gay caballero will be remembered for whack-o
witticisms.
https://www.newspapers.com/image/161713937/

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