[Ads-l] Antedating of "Booboisie"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Jan 7 14:16:49 EST 2017

The OED's first use for the word "booboisie" is H. L. Mencken in 1922.  A few years ago I found that Mencken had used it in the periodical Smart Set in December 1921.  I have now found a slightly earlier occurrence:

1921 St. Louis Post-Dispatch 14 Nov. 19/1 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)  His daughter, whom he has sent to Europe for the creditable purpose of weaning her away from the Second Avenue booboisie.

Although this is a very small antedating, it is significant because it calls into question whether Mencken originated this, one of his most celebrated word-coinages.

Fred Shapiro

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list