Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Dec 12 20:19:30 UTC 2011

Ah, right up there with "picnic".  Has been alerted?  This appears designed to confirm the OED's statement that while n-g may be a reduplicated form of "gritty", "Other etymologies have been suggested but do not appear to be supported by any firm evidence."  

But if "nittygritty" really does derive from 'the state of a naked unwashed slave', I wonder what that tells us about the true meaning of "Nitty Ditty Nitty Gritty Great Bird" (the variant version of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band" cited by George W. Bush a while back).

On Dec 12, 2011, at 3:01 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

>> From another website:
> "Nittygritty is the state of a naked unwashed slave so is now
> considered politically incorrect and racist."
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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