[Ads-l] Antedating of "Butch" (Lesbian)

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Thu Jun 14 18:39:04 EDT 2018

The new release of OED entries has "butch" meaning a "mannish" lesbian.  As a noun, the first citation is dated 1954, as an adjective it's 1958.  However, last July I contributed the following two earlier citations to the OED:

1947 _Vice Versa_ Nov. 9 (Archives of Sexuality & Gender)  Has it ever occurred to you, my sisters, that the names by which we call ourselves lack dignity?  I refer to "butch" and "fluff" and such.  They are such slangish words, yet we have no better.

1947 _Vice Versa_ Nov. 19 (Archives of Sexuality & Gender)

"Boy meets girl meets heart"

I don't consider smart.

"Butch meets fluff -- that's luff!"

Is my idea of hot stuff!

Fred Shapiro

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

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