comic 1860s pronunciation?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 19 03:54:22 UTC 2010

FWIW, "ossifer" was a lot more common in the funnies, in comic books,
and in Bowery Boys/Abbott & Costello-grade comedies During The War
than it was in the '70's and '80's, when I never heard it. Of course,
that's probably mere coincidence. Indeed, I may well have have even
*heard* it in the '70's and '80's without noticing, because I was so
accustomed to it. OTOH, "comboot bats" killed.


On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 10:24 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: comic 1860s pronunciation?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I am wondering if this is true. I was under impression that "ossifer"
> and similar expressions were quite common in jokes in the 1970s and 80s.
> Certainly I frequently heard a joke in college (mid-80s) with the
> punchline, "No, ossifer, there is no such aminal." Perhaps we are
> sometimes so obsessed with antedating print that we forget about speech?
> Inverse recency fallacy?
>     VS-)
> On 1/18/2010 8:33 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>> ... Anyway, this level of word play
>> seems to have had somewhat greater prestige then than it does now.  Consider
>> _ossifer_ (officer) and _avalanche_ (ambulance) and _jigadier brindle_, all
>> in HDAS. ...
>> JL
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