Wuss & others

Joanne M. Despres jdespres at MAIL.M-W.COM
Fri Feb 4 09:30:53 UTC 2000

No, the 1951 citation in our files does not have anything to do with
the Dr. Seuss character; it is the first use of _nerd_ we've been able to
find that applies to any person having the characteristics
described in the definition ("an unstylish, unattractive, or socially
inept person").  The Seuss critter is, however, mentioned in our etymology
as a possible source for the generic term.

The citation, by the way, comes from Newsweek (October 8, 1951, p.
28) and reads as follows:

"In Detroit, someone who once would be called a drip or a square is
now, regrettably, a nerd, or in a less severe case, a scurve."

Joanne Despres

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