whence BUCK NAKED?

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Apr 6 01:23:52 UTC 2004

   My first reaction when this question was raised was to think of the
white rear-end (tail?) of the buck, which gives the impression of a
naked buttocks.
I then checked HDAS, which under "buck naked" says "Also (vulgar)
buck-ass naked." A 1952 quote (from Vance Randolph's _Down in the
Holler_ says: "[In the Ozarks] the word _buck naked_ is avoided in
polite conversation, although _bare naked_ _mother naked_  [etc.] are
not offensive."

    Evidently in this 1952 quote, "buck naked" was regarded as
offensive because its origin from "buck-ass naked" was common
knowledge to the Ozarks speakers.

    I think this problem is solved.

Gerald Cohen

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