[Ads-l] antedating (?) "shaggy-dog story"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 3 20:35:50 EST 2017


OED cites _Esquire_ in 1937. The passage doesn't feel the need to define
the term.

1918 _South Bend News-Times_ (Sept. 22) II 6: The next scene reveals the
superior court at Reno, which isn't so darn superior, as the fellow said
about the shaggy dog. (Note - shaggy dog story will be mailed on
application to editor.)

Cf.:

1947 _Saturday Review_ (Aug. 9) 6:  You never can be like the man in the
original shaggy dog* story* who went through a thousand troubles to see the
shaggiest dog in the world and, once his ambition was accomplished,
remarked "Oh, he wasn't so shaggy."

JL

-- 
"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


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