[Ads-l] Antedating of "Booboisie"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 8 12:11:32 EST 2017

Fred Shapiro wrote:
> 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.

Great citation, Fred. On December 20, 1921 F.P.A. (i.e., Franklin
Pierce Adams) was given credit for "booboisie".

Unfortunately, I believe that many of the columns of Adams and Mencken
have not yet been digitized. For example, many Mencken columns
appeared in the "Baltimore Evening Sun" and these pages have not been
scanned and are not digitally searchable. (Of course, the "Baltimore
Sun" has been scanned, but the two papers were distinct.)

Mencken did use "boobery" and "bamboozling the boobs" in 1920 based on
columns reprinted in "A Carnival of Buncombe" (1956).

Newspaper: The St. Louis Star and Times
Newspaper Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Date: December 20, 1921
Article: Leading Press Opinions: Lucky at That
Quote Page 16, Column 2
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]

The receiver for George V. Halliday, the bankrupt broker who recently
became entangled in the financial affairs of J. P. Morgan and la
Republique Francaise, announces, after an inventory of the young man's
assets and liabilities, that the creditors "will be lucky to get three
cents on the dollar."

They will be lucky, at that. Members of what F. P. A. calls the
"booboisie" who will invest the savings of a lifetime with an
individual of whom they know little or nothing, who will put their
hard-earned  money into securities which they have not investigated
are  really being overpaid  when they get three cents on the dollar.
[End excerpt]


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

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