"hook up with"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jan 17 02:10:16 UTC 2013

On Jan 16, 2013, at 8:28 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 7:42 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> OK, now I do have access to my HDAS II, and I see that Jon's first specifically
>> sexual cite for _hook up (with)_ = 'become amorously involved with a person…
>> for at least the duration of the evening…"Did you hook up with Debbie last night?"'
>> is provided (with that gloss) in the 1988 edition of Connie Eble's _Campus Slang_.
>> I'm pretty sure it was around before then at Yale and probably elsewhere, although
>> the exact nature (or degree) of the activities engaged in between the amorous
>> involver/involvee pair can sometimes be…well, underspecified.  Which is where
>> the clones below come in handy.  Unfortunately I would need to find my students'
>> word journals from the late 1980s to confirm how early this had popped up around
>> here, and they're buried under decades of detritus.  (Nominalized _hook-up_ with the
>> relevant meaning is first attested in HDAS in Terri McMillan's 1987 _Breaking Ice_.)
> FWIW, when we discussed this, um, seven years ago, you thought that
> 1988 was about when "hooking up" started showing up in your students'
> journals:
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0601D&L=ADS-L&P=R9568&I=-3
> I'd say it was definitely in use at Yale when I arrived as an
> undergrad in '88 -- can't speak to earlier years. (And sadly, though I
> did take transformational grammar with Larry, I missed out on his
> "Words" class, so I never kept a journal.)
Ah right; I'd of course forgotten this exchange--I don't feel quite so bad given that it's been seven years (since I posted almost the identical message).  But I can't really dredge up specific earlier memories than '88ish myself, even though I suspect it was already around by the mid-80s.


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