Earliest Reference to "Ghoti"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 13 02:00:25 UTC 2006

I have previously posted a 1938 reference to "ghoti" as a spelling of
"fish."  This was, I believe, the earliest reference anyone had ever

Here's a slightly earlier one I just discovered:

1937 _Garfieldian_ (Chicago, Ill.) 18 Nov. 6/8 (Newspaperarchive.com)  The
office puzzler came in a moment ago to ask how we would pronounce the word
ghoti if the gh were pronounced as in rough, the o as in women, and the ti
as in notion.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS
   Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press
Yale Law School                             ISBN 0300107986
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               http://quotationdictionary.com

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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