"With tombstones in NP's eyes"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu Dec 9 15:17:42 UTC 2010

On Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 11:14 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> "My boy jumped up
> With tombstones in his eyes"
> 1956. Boogaloo [RN: Kent Levaughn Harris, composer & performer] and
> His Gallant Crew. Talk About A Party. Crest Records.
> AFAIK, this is also the first occurrence of the word, _boogaloo_ /
> (Latin) _bugalu_. It was only a stage name and had nothing to do with
> the later dance.

An earlier use of "Boogaloo" as a nickname came up in a thread a few years ago
(I believe Doug Wilson found it):

_Time_ (Letter to the Editor), Oct. 23, 1939
I like the explanation of this war given by "Boogaloo" a happy-go-lucky Negro as
he talked with my husband.

The boogie woogie pianist Abie "Boogaloo" Ames was also apparently using the
nickname in the '40s.


Ben Zimmer

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

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