Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 23 04:14:07 UTC 2010

This word, which is in HDAS with all of the other meanings that I know
of, has another, long-obsolete meaning. In the old Army Security
Agency, eliminated from the Army's "TO&E" in 1965, a "diddy- /
dittybopper" was someone who dealt hands-on with some form of
telegraphy: telegrapher, telegraphic-intercept operator, transcriber
of intercepted telegraphic commo. My WAG is that this is based on the
_dit-dah_ of telegraphy, with no connection to "diddy- / dittybopper"
in any of its other meanings.

Although I've never seen this use in the print medium, it's easily
found on the Web on any ASA-alumni site. The old Agency had a kind of
college-frat feel to it. Hence, there are several alumni sites. Since
I was involved in voice intelligence and not signal intelligence, I
first came across the word in this use on alumni sites. Hence, not
even a WAG as to how old it is.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

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

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