[Ads-l] Early Evidence for "Nobody Here But Us Chickens"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 18 21:03:14 EST 2017

Is there any doubt that the "racially charged" version is the original?
And the punchline of a joke?

See, hen-houses by night were thought in certain circles to be wildly
irresistible to...well, let's just forget it.


On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 8:41 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>

> In the Yale Book of Quotations I included the saying "There's nobody here
> but us chickens," with a citation from 1937.  Subsequently I have found a
> 1912 occurrence of "There ain't nobody here but us chickens" in the New
> Orleans Times-Democrat.  Still earlier, Wikiquote cites a racially charged
> version, "dey ain't nobody hyah 'ceptin' us chickens," from Everybody's
> Magazine, July 1908.
> I would welcome information about any variants of this before July 1908.
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

"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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