"Mc-" prefix, 1963

Hillary Brown hillaryhazelbrown at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 24 18:02:48 UTC 2007

X-y McXerson is surprisingly old. I remember using that formulation in
high school, back in the mid-1990s, especially with the ultimate
frisbee team. It may have originated with (or been popularized by)
_The Simpsons_, as was the case with much of the frisbeeans' jokes.


On 5/24/07, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "Mc-" prefix, 1963
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On May 24, 2007, at 8:10 AM, Joe Salmons wrote:
> > Actually, there's a whole string of humorous, derogatory McYZ names
> > out there. Mr. Verb (http://mr-verb.blogspot.com/) had a piece on
> > them this morning, shortly before the first message on this topic
> > came through...
> i mentioned the formula X-y McXerson on Language Log last november:
> #5 in
>    http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003765.html
> by last august people were already complaining about the formula; from
>    http://fasthugs.typepad.com/blog/dogs_named_janice/index.html
> on 8/25/06, in "Direct Quotes: Phrases That Need To Die:
> "[Adjective/Noun]-y Mc[Adjective/Noun]-erson":  Taking one's
> attribute in the context of a conversation (for example, calling
> someone who drinks a lot "Drinky McDrinkerson") has not yet died.
> It's still somewhat cute, but it's damn close to reaching its tipping
> point.  It's going to happen, and it's going to happen soon.
> -----
> i don't know anything about the history of "Drinky McDrinkerson"; in
> particular, i don't know if it was the original, and served as the
> model for other X-y McXerson formations, or whether another instance
> came first.
> i'd guess that the X-y McYZ formations are developments from the
> simpler X-y McXerson, but i don't actually know anything about the
> history.
> a simpler type is the McX-y formula.  does this originate with Grey's
> Anatomy (with McDreamy and McSteamy, but also the even simpler McX,
> as in McVet, which is probably an ameliorated version of the
> McDonald's-based McX)?
> now, by the way, we have the pairing of McDreamy and McGreasy, in ads
> for the movie Sweet Home Alabama, where they refer to the two
> principal male characters.
> the Urban Dictionary has a pile of Mc examples.
> arnold
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