etymology of "gorp"

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Mon Mar 26 00:16:15 UTC 2001

>'gorp',[1] the standard issue snack for hikers and campers.
>[1] "Good Ol' Raisins and Peanuts"


>Comments? JAUL [Just Another Urban Legend]?

Yes, I think so. It looks to me like an invented word reminiscent of
"glop", "goop", etc.

Acronym-etymologies are about 99% bogus, I think (but see below).

"Gorp" is dated from the 1940's, = "gobble"/"eat greedily", in Chapman's
slang dictionary, for example.

M-W dates "gorp" = "trail food" from 1968.

There is a (dead) US trademark, filed 1977 (by Sunmark, Inc.): "Gorp: Good
Ol' Raisins & Peanuts" ... but I think the folk-etymology was already
well-disseminated by then. There is the possibility that this company or
another invented "gorp" in this form for use as an unregistered trademark
back in the 1960's ... but even in this case, I would think that "gorp" was
chosen because of its sound rather than "really" as an acronym. [The
trademark can be found on the Web, but not by searching under "gorp"
(because of a typo in the database).]

-- Doug Wilson

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