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

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 4 01:15:55 EST 2017

The original "Shaggy Dog" story of 1906 lists a P. J. Faulkner of Fredonia Avenue, Avondale as the person who first told the story.

There was, in fact, a P. J. Faulkner who lived Cincinnati, Ohio, and there is still a Fredonia Avenue in the Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati, so the story could have been true.

P. J. Faulkner appears to have been a fairly influential citizen - his wife served on lots of committees, and he served as a committeman in some public service organizations at times.  His brother worked for the Cincinnati Enquirer, so it's not surprising, perhaps, that he hung out with the kinds of people who would hear his story and put it in a paper.

Peter Reitan

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Sunday, December 3, 2017 6:51 PM
Subject: Re: antedating (?) "shaggy-dog story"

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: antedating (?) "shaggy-dog story"

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
American Dialect Society<http://www.americandialect.org/>
Devoted to the study of English around the world.

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list