"Shifters" and their "argot", 1922; some antedatings of OED

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Dec 3 04:54:10 UTC 2012

On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 7:42 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> An op-ed column in today's NYTimes by Ben Schott, "A Ponzi Schems for
> Flappers".  Describes the "Shifters", members of an informal,
> unorganized organization that was a mixture of a financial scam and a
> (mainly?) sororal social group, which existed for a few months in 1922:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/opinion/sunday/a-ponzi-scheme-for-flappers.html?pagewanted=all
> Amusing in itself, but also noteworthy for an "Argot of the
> Shifters", a short dictionary of their slang, credited to the Toledo
> News Bee of 1922 March 29.  My brief analysis reveals several
> possible antedatings of the OED:
> ----------
> Ankling along:  OED ankle v. sense 2.a is 1926--

I've got cites for "ankle" (in various combinations) back to 1917 in
this Language Log post:



Ben Zimmer

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

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