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

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 3 21:51:53 EST 2017

The origin of the shaggy dog story was discussed on this list back in
August 2015. Here is a link to information for a 1906 citation that I
think is illuminating.


Here is a link to the beginning of the thread which was initiated by
Stephen Goranson:


I think that an interesting article could be written using citations
from the thread and supplementary research.  I haven't tried to write
a summary because I primarily concentrate on quotations.


On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 8:35 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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

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

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