"Gussied Up" from Jerry; Sign on dotted line (1913)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat Jun 26 18:05:37 UTC 2004


[to ads-l]:
Douglas Wilson's early dating of "Gussy up" is interesting. About ten years
ago I wrote on article on the expression and will send the title and reference
to ads-l when I return from vacation next week.
Meanwhile, I remember that the expression most likely derives from a
character named August (Beekham or something similar) in a once popular but now
obscure 19th century novel titled _Miss Nobody of Nowhere_. August, aka "little
Gussie" was always overdressed--a quintessential "dude" as the term was used in
the 1880's amd '90's.

   I've asked Barry Popik to mail this message to ads-l; If I send messages
to ads-l from anywhere other than my own computer, they will arrive encrypted.

Gerald Cohen

    -----Original Message-----
    From: American Dialect Society on behalf of Douglas G. Wilson
    Sent: Sat 6/26/2004 12:12 AM
    Subject: "Gussied up" (1912, 1914)

    The tennis player Gussie Moran apparently was not responsible. HDAS has
    1952 (plus a bracketed 1928 item of uncertain relevance).


    _Indianapolis Star_, 17 March 1912: p. 7(?), col. 1:

    <<The young Shipping Clerk used to fly to his Kennel and get himself all
    Gussied up, and then edge into the Parlor and turn the Music for Miss
    Livingstone, ....>>


    _Los Angeles Times_, 13 March 1914: p. I12:

    <<In the Spring the young man's fancy, lightly / Turns to thoughts of
    colthes [sic] / He wants himself all gussied up, as Nature garbs the


    -- Doug Wilson


   The new parking violations computer system has people sign in on the
dotted line.  Actually, it's like the line above this--it's a DASHED line.  But you
can't say that or people will go "dotty."

(WWW.NEWSPAPERARCHIVE.COM) ("sign on the dotted line")
Trenton Evening Times Monday, July 22, 1918 Trenton, New Jersey
...THE Red Triangle, bout to SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE. Tom Sharkey is in
excellent.....Two. oTHEr light routid.ers areoh THE bill.In" .-THE' 'op'ON'er,
-Dave THE..

Oxnard Courier Thursday, December 12, 1918 Oxnard, California
...some mONey ana asked to SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE. "What he inquired.
"It's.....for your Xmas photos. We have a nice LINE of medalliON folders to choose

Bridgeport Telegram Friday, May 17, 1918 Bridgeport, Connecticut
...Gei'ai'cVs refusal to SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE and THE statement
that.....Park MONday night, and THE S. R. p. SIGN will hang out early. So for your..

Oxnard Courier Friday, December 13, 1918 Oxnard, California
...so-ne mONey ana asked to SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE. "What tie inquired.
"It's.....and is perhaps THE last visible SIGN of THE scourge which i has..

(PROQUEST HISTORICAL NEWSPAPERS) ("sign on the dotted line")
  1. Display Ad 15 -- No Title
Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963). Chicago, Ill.: Dec 3, 1913. p. 19 (1
   JUST two things confuse the "easy buyer" and tempt him to sign on the
dotted line for a delivery truck--namely--_Liberal Discounts_ and _Claims of Low
Operating Cost_!
(Ad for Chase Motor Trucks--ed.)

  2. PATRIOTISM RINGS.; Alhambra Makes a Whirlwind Finish in Tank Liberty
Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File). Los Angeles, Calif.: Oct 13, 1918. p.
I11 (1 page)

The Washington Post (1877-1954). Washington, D.C.: Mar 29, 1919. p. 6 (1

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