Query: "military brat" prior to 1981?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 6 01:07:24 UTC 2011

On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 12:26 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at mst.edu> wrote:
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> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at MST.EDU>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â Query: "military brat" prior to 1981?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I've received an inquiry about "military brat." Â OED3 gives 1981 as its first attestation. Â Can any earlier attestations be located?
> And what might have occurred in 1981 to catapult the term into popular consciousness?
> Any help would be much appreciated.
> G. Cohen
> P.S. For easy access, here's what OED3 has about the term:
> 1) The Oxford English Dictionary (3rd edition; online) says of "military
> brat":
> military brat n. N. Amer. colloq. a child with a parent, or parents, in the
> armed forces; esp. one who exhibits behavioural problems associated with the
> unsettled and itinerant nature of military life.
> 1981 Â  Â N.Y. Times <javascript:void(0)> Â 11 Oct. vii. 36/3 Â  Arias's style
> reflects his cosmopolitan background-his travels with his family as a
> *military brat, his education in urban schools and at Berkeley [etc.].
> 1991 Â  Â M. E. Wertsch Military Brats <javascript:void(0)> Â x. 321 Â  But both
> overachievement and underachievement by military brats can be read as
> efforts by outsiders to reach out for recognition.
> 2000 Â  Â Ottawa Sun <javascript:void(0)> Â (Electronic ed.) 3 Aug. 16 Â  It's
> been several decades since they last saw their friends. This won't affect
> spirits, they say, because no one knows how to party like military brats.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Is there a distinction being mad between "[branch-of-service] brat,"
as in _Army brat_ and "military brat"?

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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