Barry Popik in Safire Column

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Sun Dec 15 19:18:08 UTC 2002

   I'm delighted to see mention of Barry Popik in today's "On
Language" column by William Safire; the recognition is indeed

    For those who might be interested in pursuing the early history of
"G.O.P." further, here's the bibliographical reference which Mr.
Safire consulted:
Barry Popik and Gerald Cohen; "Pushing the Date of G.O.P. (Grand Old
Party) Back By One Year,To 1883)." in: _Studies in Slang, Part VI_
(edited by Gerald Leonard Cohen and Barry Popik), Frankfurt a.M.:
Peter Lang, 1999, pp.63-71.

    The earliest (Dec. 1, 1883) attestation of G.O.P. was located by Barry.

Gerald Cohen

>At 9:33 AM -0500 12/14/02, Fred Shapiro wrote:
>William Safire's "On Language" column in tomorrow's New York Times
>Magazine mentions Barry Popik as discovering the earliest known usage of
>"G.O.P."  Congratulations to Barry for this well-earned recognition.
>Fred Shapiro

[excerpt from Safire column]:

>Because I intend to keep using G.O.P. in this space, here
>is its etymology (and you'd better not forget it, because I
>won't repeat it). The earliest recorded use of the
>unabbreviated, capitalized phrase was in The Cincinnati
>Commercial in 1876. (Soon after, Britain's prime minister,
>William Gladstone, was being called the Grand Old Man,
>initialized to G.O.M.) Barry Popik, an etymologist has
>found the earliest use so far in a Dec. 1, 1883, Washington
>weekly called The Hatchet, referring to a book that was ''a
>work of most rare cunning and of the utmost importance to
>the G.O.P.''

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