ciggie (antedating 1913 October) ciggy (antedating 1914 December)

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 13 17:53:41 UTC 2010

Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> HDAS has plain old "ciggie" from 1915.

OED (1989) has ciggy (ciggies) also with a first citation in 1962.
[The new online OED says "online version November 2010"]

Here is a quoted instance in 1913 signaling that the editor thought it
might be a new slang word to readers.

Cite: 1913 October, Our Navy: the Standard Publication of the U.S.
Navy, U.S.S. South Dakota, Page 59, Volume 7, Number 6, Our Navy
Publishing Co., New York. (Google Books full view)

At about 8:45 they knocked off, presumably for breakfast or to smoke a "ciggie"

In 1914 the same publication ran a poem about cigarettes that included
the variant spelling: ciggy. Below is an excerpt:

Cite: 1914 December, Our Navy: the Standard Publication of the U.S.
Navy, Cigarettes by Jack Thompson,  Page 53, Volume 8, Number 8, Our
Navy Publishing Co., New York. (Google Books full view)

I have never chewed tobacco,
Oh, that habit so unclean.
I would rather have you, "Ciggy,"
Though the deadly nicotine
That is lurking in your friendship--
Maybe you will kill me yet.
But as long as I am living
I'll--love My Cigarettes.

HDAS cites a valuable publication from the magnificent society hosting
this mailing list. Scans of the full publication are accessible at

Cite: 1915, Dialect Notes: Volume 4: Part 3, College Slang at Western
Reserve University by Robert Bolwell, Clipt Forms, Page 236,
Publications of the American Dialect Society, Printed by The Tuttle,
Morehouse & Taylor Company, New Haven, Connecticut. (HathiTrust full

cig. Cigar: meaning also 'cigarette.' Also ciggy.

(Data may contain typos and OCR errors)


On Sun, Dec 12, 2010 at 12:07 PM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: ciggieboo (unverified 1957) was Re: abreevs
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> HDAS has plain old "ciggie" from 1915.
> "Arkus-malarkus" must be based on Damon Runyon's "phonus-balonus."  I've
> never seen it before, but Carl Sandburg used "arkymalarky" in 1936.
> "Ackamarackus" has had a very minor currency since being popularized or
> invented by Runyon about 1933-34.  I find "ackamaracka" in lists of slang
> only, where it has been rather popular among editors.
> JL

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