Rip Van Winkles/Sleeping Beauties

Alison Murie sagehen7470 at ATT.NET
Fri Feb 12 21:26:11 UTC 2010

On Feb 12, 2010, at 3:27 PM, Eric Nielsen wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Eric Nielsen <ericbarnak at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Rip Van Winkles/Sleeping Beauties
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> How about Lazarus words. "Sleeping Beauty" and "Rip Van Winkle"
> could refer
> to words that still have a life, i.e. some limited current usage.
> Eric
> On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 3:18 PM, Baker, John <JMB at> wrote:
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>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       "Baker, John" <JMB at STRADLEY.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: Rip Van Winkles/Sleeping Beauties
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>       Perhaps "jape," thought to have become archaic in the 16th
>> century but revived in the 19th, would be another example, although
>> it
>> is different from these in that its 19th century revival was fairly
>> limited, while Mark's examples are of words that achieved a
>> prominence
>> they never previously held.  I prefer "late bloomer" as the name for
>> such words, but I suppose "Sleeping Beauty" is more colorful.  "Rip
>> Van
>> Winkle" seems an unsuitable term, since that implies an extended
>> quiescence followed by a return to a prior state.
>> John Baker
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
>> Behalf
>> Of Mark Peters
>> Sent: Friday, February 12, 2010 11:45 AM
>> Subject: Rip Van Winkles/Sleeping Beauties
>> Hey all,
>> I'm doing a column on terms like unfriend--which, as Ben discussed
>> here
>> ( a long
>> linguistic nap before emerging as a common word the last couple of
>> years.
>> I'm collecting examples of other sleeping beauties: words recorded
>> long
>> ago that suddenly jump into prominence, becoming prime examples of
>> the
>> recency illusion. Besides unfriend, I have not, truthiness, and
>> doh. Any
>> other examples would be hugely appreciated.
>> Also, if anyone has an opinion on whether Rip Van Winkles or Sleeping
>> Beautiesis a better term for this kind of word, I'd love to hear the
>> reasons.
>> Thanks, word-herders!
>> Mark
I'm not sure what its status is now, but "neat"  was an expression
from my childhood, meaning what would now be called "cool," roughly.
I thought it had completely died out in the '50s, but heard it
frequently again from the ''70s to '90s.  It may be that its use has
been mainly among people of an age to have known it back in the '30s

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