more seat-of-the-pants etymology for our delectation

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 18 03:49:39 UTC 2008

Well! Don't keep that correct information to yourself and us, edit the damn
WP article! That's what WP is about.

Mark Mandel

On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 12:37 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:

> The NYT BR notes that Blount cites what I would consider to be an
> *extremely* rare word: _hully gully_, usually spelled witha hyphen,
> amongst the colored. I'm impresed that Blount is aware of its
> existence. Astoundingly, IMO, the hully-gully is mentioned in
> Wikipedia:
> "The Hully Gully was started by Frank Rocco at the Cadillac Hotel in
> Miami Beach Florida."
> Unfortunately, no date is supplied. The article goes on to state:
> "The rock group, the Olympics, sang the song "Hully Gully", in 1959,
> which involved no physical contact at all."
> This is nearly correct. It should read more like:
> "The Los Angeles-based rhythm-&-blues group, The Olympics, otherwise
> known to the wider world only, if at all, for having originally
> recorded the song later covered and made famous by The Young Rascals,
> 'Good Lovin',' in 1959 recorded a song entitled, 'Baby Hully-Gully'."
> As far as I'm aware, this is the first appearance of "hully-gully" in
> the black community and I'm certain that it occurred there only in the
> song title and as the name of a once-popular dance.
> Historical note: Olympic Boulevard was the northern boundary of said
> community, back in the day. The singing group, made up of Angelenos,
> took its name from the name of the street.
> The song itself is probably the best example of call-and-response
> singing in black popular music ever recorded. I resist the very strong
> temptation to supply the lyrics, though they be of no particular
> interest, WRT dialect.
> ["Mama hully-gully / Papa hully-gully / Baby hully-gully, too"]
> -Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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