A. Vine avine at ENG.SUN.COM
Wed Feb 2 18:08:40 UTC 2000

Gerald Cohen wrote:
>    Dennis Preston  comments  concerning the appearance of slang items in
> print::
> >> ...nearly every lexicographer I know admits
> >that the first written citation is doubtless "years" after a word came into
> >currency....
>  ------This is a very risky general rule. "Namby-pamby" originated  in  a
> written poem and then spread to the spoken language.  "Shyster" (first
> spelled "shiseter") also first arose in print, based on British cant
> "shiser" (= somebody worthless), ultimately from German  "Scheisser."
> "Skedaddle" (= run away) originated  early in the American Civil War and
> very quickly gained currency and  appeared in print.

Out of curiosity, what is the first cite for "poo-poo head"?

What I'm wondering is, if "wuss" is a young child's word, or even up to, say,
age 13, are there likely to be cites?  Do the cites only show up when the word
enters a high-school age vocabulary?


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