antedating bitching (UNCLASSIFIED)

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 3 20:08:08 UTC 2010

Not predating the other 2 I just posted, but confirming the general
sentiment and context--/and/, this time, with a firm date! [GB full view]
The Rotarian, Sep 1945
Now That I'm Home. By Captain Darrel L. Brady. p. 12
> Frankly, I'm doing what we call "bitching" in the service. You perhaps
> are fed up with it. In the service we know it is a wholesome sign of
> normal morale as long as the men keep "bitching." When they stop, we
> look for trouble. So while I am at it I'll go on to air one of the
> biggest gripes of the men doing the fighting.

I really should not have pulled the trigger so fast on this bunch. I am
sure the date will get pushed down further by close inspection of
newspaper archives.

There is also an intriguing item from 1846, but it needs to be
investigated further...


On 12/3/2010 2:55 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
> Further still, but completely unverified.
> Very truly ours: Letters from America's fighting men. James Waterman Wise
>> The second, if not descriptive is forceful--"bitching." Any kick you
>> have, when given to expression is "bitching." You "bitch" about this,
>> you "bitch" about that, so you are "bitching" again. Bitching is a
>> good thing; nice safety valve when you are fed up. Of course when
>> overdone it is a pain.
>> ...
>> Any time a soldier stops bitching, there is something wrong and time
>> to investigate.
> Both GB and the Harvard catalog have the date as 1943. But that does
> not to be the date on the cover in GB, although the image is too small
> to tell. Worldcat gave no other records.
>     VS-)
> On 12/3/2010 2:47 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>> New Yorker, 1945 [date confirmed intrinsically in GB, but neither
>> date nor quote verified on paper]
>> [snippet only]
>>> ... comedy entitled "Quit Your Bitchin'."
>> The story is about "Major General Donald H. Connelly's Persian Gulf
>> Command", if that helps verification.
>>     VS-)
>> On 12/3/2010 2:30 PM, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC wrote:
>>> OED sense bitch v2 Derivatives "bitching" n 1953
>>> _California Tech_ [student newspaper of California Institute of
>>> Technology] Vol L #23 4/14/1949 p 2 col 6
>>> "John Rogers, however, was at said Theatre Party with Barbie, whom
>>> he as
>>> fascinated *(26) with his incessant bitching about the njustices [sic]
>>> of this cruel world." ["*(26)" is a footnote in the original text]
>>> ...

The American Dialect Society -

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