"Piled Higher and Deeper"

Douglas Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Thu Feb 16 01:57:40 UTC 2006

> We all know that this refers to the Alps of useless learning we have
> acquired with along with our doctoral degrees.
>   But when did the phrase begin?  Surely not with Dr. Johnson.
>   Th earliest ex. in print seems to be from 1985, but I feel sure I heard
> it in the late ' 70s.  Now comes a writer who connects it with (sorry,
> guys) Yale in the years before 1960.

I can't remember it for sure before 1970 myself.

But: from ProQuest:


_Washington Post_, 31 Aug. 1959: p. A2:

<<Douglas smiled. "It is sometimes said," he told Proxmire, "that the
degree B.S. has a self-evident meaning attached to it: but the M.S. means
'more of the same', and that the degree Ph.D. means 'piled higher and


-- Doug Wilson

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

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