Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Dec 5 23:19:12 UTC 2004

dInIs, you and others are re-shaking my confidence in the written record.


"Dennis R. Preston" <preston at MSU.EDU> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Dennis R. Preston"

Subject: Re: FWIW

Louisville area; late 1940's, both the phrase and the lexical item. White guys.


>I remember "dipshit" from the 1970s (white Seattle), but most of the time
>we euphemized it as "dipstick." Dunno which came first.
>At 04:27 AM 12/5/04, you wrote:
>>HDAS has a number of cites for, "Well, I'll be dipped in shit!" referring
>>to WWII, though not published till years later. White guys from the rural
>>South are the speakers, if I remember correctly.
>>I didn't hear "dip" or "dipshit" till about 1970 or so.
>>More notable recollections, Wilson. I'm promoting you to Consultant.
>>Wilson Gray wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender: American Dialect Society
>>Poster: Wilson Gray
>>Subject: FWIW
>>In 1950, Earl, a friend from Jefferson City came to St. Louis for a
>>visit, bringing with him what was, to us Louietowners, a new
>>expression: "I'll be dipped in shit!" A couple of days later, he left,
>>taking the expression with him. It didn't catch on in St. Louis and,
>>since that time, I haven't heard this expression used by anyone else
>>anywhere else on the face of the earth that I've ever been. But, years
>>later, when I was in the Army, I heard the term "dipshit."
>>Earl was black, but the G.I.'s that I heard using the term "dipshit"
>>were all white.
>>Now, it seems clear that there must be some connection between "I'll be
>>dipped in shit!" and "dipshit." But there's none that I can find. In
>>1950, I heard one black guy say "I'll be dipped in shit!" A decade
>>[pronounced "dekkid" in St. Louis in those days] later, I heard
>>"dipshit" used by hundreds of white guys, but not by any black guys.
>>Ssup wit dat?
>>-Wilson Gray
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Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages
A-740 Wells Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 432-3099
Fax: (517) 432-2736
preston at msu.edu

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