1961 article on teen slang

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Sep 14 18:27:29 UTC 2007

At 10:12 AM -0700 9/14/07, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>On Sep 13, 2007, at 11:30 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
>>The following article by Gay Pauley, UPI women's editor, appeared in
>>various newspapers in December 1961. (Newspaperarchive has it in: San
>>Antonio Light, Dec. 12, 1961, p. 21; Long Beach Press-Telegram, Dec.
>>14, 1961, p. 8; etc.)...
>>... Unger is publisher and and editor of "Datebook" magazine and
>>author of
>>a new book, "The Cool Book" (Prentice Hall), called a "teenager's
>>guide to survival in a square society."
>>Unger talks to teens, in teen terms, on such matters as dating, good
>>looks and grooming, popularity and education. But it's the section on
>>teenager "cooloquialisms" and "daffynitions" which I suggest for dazed
>i was in college when unger's book was written, but i recognize
>almost none of the cooloquialisms, and the few that i do recognize
>had somewhat different meanings than the ones in this article.  i
>can't believe that many of these expressions were in general use
>among american teenagers around 1960.

as an echt teenager of 15 at the time, I can vouch for "There's a
fungus among us", with the rhyme (i.e. the adjusted pronuncation of
"among") as noted by Wilson.  I can't recall the others from that
period, although obviously "grody" from a later generation with a
different meaning (in "Valley Girl" English).


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list