Early-ish antedating of 'willies' meaning DT's

Geoffrey Steven Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Sat Aug 30 16:04:58 UTC 2014

While staying in a hotel in Stratford, Ontario this past week I was leafing through some old library discard books they had placed in the room. In the following: 

The Best of Bob Edwards, edited by Hugh A. Dempsey, Hurtig Publishers, Edmonton. 1975. 

I found the following: 

'Peter J. McGonigle, editor of the popular Midnapore Gazette, has not had an issue of his paper out for several weeks. He has been down to High River on a business trip. As is well known, a business trip to High River involves considerable drinking, and it will be distressing to many of Mr. McGonigle's friends to learn that he forgot his pledge, and, as the local preacher put it, went the whole hog. He was so near the *willies* that they shut down on giving him any more booze, and he became a perfect nuisance round the St. George Hotel, where he was stopping.'(p. 95)

footnote dates it as March 6, 1909. originally From Calgary Eye Openers, 'variously published in Calgary, High River,  Port Arthur and Winnipeg.' 

Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Professor, Linguistics Program
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