Query About Etymological Discoveries (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Mon Sep 21 17:07:32 UTC 2009

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Has the "length of an ammo belt" theory for "full nine yards" been put
to bed?

(Not because the phrase antedates WWII, but because it postdates it by
so much . . . )

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Shapiro, Fred
> Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 11:43 AM
> Subject: Query About Etymological Discoveries
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> --------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Query About Etymological Discoveries
> --------
> I am writing an article about etymological discoveries of recent
> decades, exploring the question of whether anyone pays any attention
> discoveries that shed factual light on the derivation of a term or
> whether the media and the public continue believing in erroneous
> derivations despite the discovery.  Some examples of "etymological
> discoveries" of recent decades would be _O.K._ deriving from _oll
> korrect_, _hooker_ not deriving from the name of a Civil War general,
> _bug_ 'computer defect' not deriving from the discovery of a moth
> inside an early computer, _in like Flynn_ not deriving from Erroll
> Flynn's trial, _flack_ not deriving from _flak_.  Can anyone suggest
> other examples?
> Note that I am not asking for discoveries that push back the earliest
> date of usage of a term (the "when") without affecting "why" a term is
> used.
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list