antedating of _wetback_ (1920)

David Barnhart dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Tue Apr 2 02:05:16 UTC 2013

Current eOED earliest date is 1929.  Found in Google Books:

Mr. Hudspeth. The chairman knows that I stood here and urged with all the
vehemence in my power that that resolution be put through.  I stood here and
did all in my power to keep the "wetback" the "grayback" and the "blueback"
from coming across.  And I stand here to-day asking for that.

The Chairman.  Let us get a definition of those terms.  What is a "wetback"?

Mr. Hudspeth.  You have heard a "wetback" described; he is a fellow that
crosses the river surreptitiously.

"Temporary admission of illiterate Mexican laborers," Hearings Before the
Committee on Immigration and Naturalization House of Representatives
Sixty-sixth Congress second session on H.J. Res. 271, Jan. 26, 27, 28, 30,
and Feb. 2, 1920, p 141

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list