[Ads-l] Antedating of "Wacko"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 22 22:51:50 EDT 2017


Here is "wacko" used as an adjective in 1939 although the meaning is
not completely clear.

Date: October 26, 1939
Newspaper: The Sydney Morning Herald
Newspaper Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Quote Page 1, Column 2

https://www.newspapers.com/image/125850721/?terms=wacko

[Begin excerpt]
"ESQUIRE'S"
THURSDAY TABLE-TALK

How do you do?

IT'S A TALE OF TWO CITIES. London and Paris. Two cities that have sent
"The S. for M." the highest highlights of its very wacko (what was
that?) gown range. Pure silks they are, in colours and patterns about
as easy to describe without diagram as pons assinorum.
[End excerpt]

Garson

On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 10:27 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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/
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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