Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Apr 6 00:44:53 UTC 2004

At 6:07 PM -0400 4/5/04, Baker, John wrote:
>         O.K., the Associated Press used "butt naked" in a 1/10/85
>story.  That still leaves a bit of a gap.
>John Baker

Of course even if "butt naked" were the source of "buck naked", once
the latter was established we can imagine the former being
spontaneously (re-)invented as a folk etymology.

Larry (who prefers to think of the origin as a foreshortening of
"naked as a buck", given that bucks are known to be as naked as a

>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
>Of RonButters at AOL.COM
>Sent: Monday, April 05, 2004 6:01 PM
>Subject: Re:       RE:      Re: ? ? ? Re: whence BUCK NAKED?
>In a message dated 4/5/04 5:57:28 PM, JMB at STRADLEY.COM writes:
>>          Maybe, but there were a number of years before 1990 during which
>>  "butt naked" could be said and written with impunity.  A derivation of "buck
>>  naked" from "butt naked" requires the assumption that "butt naked"
>>came first,
>>  was almost entirely superseded by "buck naked," then began a
>>come-back around
>>  1990.  At present, this theory is entirely lacking in evidence.
>>  John Baker
>Well, Google would not be a very good source, would it?

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