Slight antedatings of "whoopsie daisy" (1914, 1922)

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 2 20:30:22 UTC 2013

Today the OED tweeted that "'whoopsie daisy' is first noted in the OED in
1925 in [The New Yorker magazine]."

Of course, the OED's entry notes that "whoopsie daisy" ultimately derives
from "up a daisy" (ca. 1711) and forms such as "upsa daesy" (ca. 1862),
"upsidaisy" (ca. 1904), and variants.

This entry further indicates that "whoopsie daisy" was used as the caption
of a cartoon that appeared in the 26 September 1925 issue (p. 8).  (The
cartoon in question shows a jaunty fellow wearing a bowler who has walked
past a woman dolled up in the style of ca. 1900.  We can infer that a
second earlier he had used his walking stick to tip up the hem of her skirt
as she passed.  This action has revealed her ankle, which he apparently
finds quite fetching.  "Whoopsie daisy" is his comment.)

What follows are two slightly earlier appearances of a "whoopsy" form.

-- Bonnie


WHOOPSY DAISY; song from the revusical comedy, After the girl, words by
Paul A. Rubens and Percy Greenbank, music by Paul A. Rubens.  [Copyright]
Mar. 2, 1914; 2 c. Mar. 4, 1914; E 332954; Chappel & co., ltd., London.

[From the Library of Congress, Copyright Office, Catalogue of Copyright
Entries, Part 3: Musical Composition, New Series, Volume 9, Part 1, First
Half of 1914, No. 4; Washington, Government Printing Office, 1914, p. 429.
 Via Google Books.]

(In case you were wondering, Rubens seems to have been responsible for
"revusical."  -- Bonnie)


How [Frisk the young squirrel] loved adventures!  Even if they went wrong.
 And how he loved the willow tree!  Two minutes after Tad [the raccoon] put
him down in the brand new home Frisk was out on the very slimmest,
tip-endest twig, swinging as high and as hard as it would go.
 Whoopsy-daisy!  Wasn't it fun!

[From "Frisk Likes Adventuring," part of the Barton Bedtime Series, printed
in The Boston Globe, 26 April 1922, p. 15.  Via]

The American Dialect Society -

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