[Ads-l] Slight Antedating of "Miniskirt"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 27 21:10:10 EDT 2018

> "mini-skirt" was originally a calque from Spanish "minifalda"

FWIW, Brownsville is about as far south as you can be in Texas without
being in Mexico, for those without the geography of Texas at their

Irrelevant anecdote:

In the Army in Germany, the mini-skirt was known as the "pay-day skirt,"
because the "waitresses" - in fact, B-girls - at GI-bars - _Ami-Bar_ in
German - wore skirts so inspirational of lust-filled, but empty, dreams
only on Army pay day. Of course, everything is relative and what was a
heart-stoppingly-short - two inches above the knee - skirt sixty years ago
is just a skirt, today, longer than what's ordinarily worn by the
conservative ladies of FOX News.

So, how does an Englishwoman, Mary Quant, get the credit for "inventing"
the mini?

On Sun, May 27, 2018 at 2:50 PM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:

> The earliest example of "miniskirt" in the OED is from the Billings
> Gazette, Aug. 6, 1962, in a humorous article by John Abney, a wire service
> reporter stationed in Mexico City.  I have found the same article in two
> other newspapers, and one of them was earlier than the Billings Gazette.
> The article was printed in the Brownsville (Tex.) Herald on July 29, 1962,
> under the title "The Most And Least For Skirts" (NewspaperArchive).  It was
> also printed in the (McAllen, Tex.) Monitor on Aug. 15, 1962, under the
> title "Lightest Mexico" (Newspapers.com).  Like other early sources, these
> use the spelling "mini-skirt."
> As I mentioned in 2014, it seems likely to me that "mini-skirt" was
> originally a calque from Spanish "minifalda," rather than being, as one
> would expect and as the OED indicates, formed within English by compounding.
> John Baker
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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