Kathleen E. Miller
millerk at NYTIMES.COM
Tue Sep 2 18:40:46 UTC 2003
First a question, is the New York Sun online and searchable anywhere?
Next, the article, not an antedate by any means, and it's not an opinion.
Just passing it along for information or amusement.
"ORIGIN OF 'POOCH' PROVES STUMPER" THE NEW YORK SUN, MAY 17, 1941
"When a reader recently asked the origin of the word 'pooch' as applied to
a dog, in appeared an easy question just because anything in such general
use should not be hard to trace. A consulting of the leading lexicons,
however, failed to produce an answer and Dr. Charles E. Funk, one of the
most widely recognized lexicographers, admits it has him stumped.
'It has come under the heading of criminal slang, most of which is gypsy in
origin,' he said. 'It would be my theory, but nothing more than a theory,
that there must be some old gypsy word on which it is based. The only word
'pooch' that appears in standard works is the Scotch variant for pouch, and
has no relation to a dog."
THE NEW YORK SUN, May 23,1941 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
"Sir: In your issue of May 17 there was a letter in which it was admitted
that the word 'pooch' as applied to a dog could not be traced to a
legitimate origin. Several days ago I alluded to the dog of a retired
British Army officer as a 'pooch.' He was astonished and asked if I'd ever
been to India.
'Pooch,' he said, 'is Hindustani for dog. I'm astonished to hear it here!'
I told him that I got it out of the 'funnies,' where it was used by the
late T.A. Dorgan, unless I am mistaken." V.E. Scott.
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