Antedating of "knucklehead" (1938)
sclements at NEO.RR.COM
Sat Sep 20 23:25:17 UTC 2003
M-W says 1942.
HDAS has 1942. (They DO have a 1939 cite that uses "knuckleheaded," but
it's ambiguous: "And you're just a knuckle-headed farmer girl." More
OED has 1944
>From the Nevada State Journal of June 26, 1938:
"...Wm. "Bill" Hopper, president of the First National Bank of Nevada,
has decided to drag the novice or greenpea out into the open where all may
take a look and to the tune of a beautiful trophy and fancy cash prize, but
"ye knucklehead" must pay an entry fee to show his skill in the arena, and
natural skill it must be...."
It certainly predates a simple military explanation. Implies a novice
rather than a stupid person. Might the HDAS cite for "knuckle-headed farmer
girl" imply a novice/greenhorn rather than a dumbbell?
What do you make of this?
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