eat my shorts (1973)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Nov 25 17:06:23 UTC 2008

HDAS has "eat my shorts" back to 1979, from the Harvard Lampoon. That's a
decade before Bart Simpson, but Google Book Search can do better. There are
evidently two citations for "eat my shorts" from 1973: in _Kesey's Garage
Sale_ by Ken Kesey (p. 151?) and _Probes: An Introduction to Poetry_ by
William K. Harlan (p. 110?). Not enough preview for either to give the full

Also, the Crimson has this variant from 1975:
1975 _Harvard Crimson_ 24 Nov. They chant cheers as refined as "Fair
Harvard" or "Bingo, bingo, that's the lingo" (written by Cole Porter, Yale
'13), and as unrefined as "A quart is two pints, a gallon is four quarts;
Harvard men will eat Yale's shorts."

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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