[Ads-l] ABC (was Re: XYZ revived)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 21 12:20:56 EST 2016

Good to see the DARE entry (hadn't thought to look there!) As I noted
upthread, Genealogybank provides an earlier cite, from the Mar. 1, 1966
edition of the Evansville (Ind.) Courier and Press.

On Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 10:58 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> > On Dec 21, 2016, at 12:28 AM, W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> > Buttons vs. zipper
> > ... On the fly, I would say that the zipper
> > may be faster, but buttons fail less often, & won't nip yer schlong like
> a
> > zipper can.
> >
> But think of all those scenes in raunchy Hollywood comedies that would
> have precluded.  (Like JL, I had never heard or even heard of “XYZ” before
> this thread, and unlike him I never lived through a period of trousers with
> buttons.  Barn doors open, si; XYZ, no.
> If the DARE entry can be trusted for first cite, I was a bit too late for
> the XYZ bandwagon.  (Anyone familiar with the long form, XYZ B.S.S.?)
> LH
> 1968–69 DARE (Qu. W24c, . . To warn a man that his trouser-fly is open)
> Infs MI97Aux, NY209Aux [a 10-year-old], X-Y-Z; NJ45, My little sister says
> X-Y-Z [All Infs young]; RI17, X-Y-Z [FW: Inf’s granddaughter says]. 1985–86
> DARE File, “The current code is: XYZ, B.S.S. (=examine your zipper before
> someone sees)”—reported by several women in 20–30 age range, office
> personnel at U. Mass., Amherst. 2007 DARE File—Internet, [Children’s song:]
> You gotta XYZ examine your zipper. It falls down so mysteriously./ XYZ
> examine your zipper cause noone’s gonna take you seriously./ Then some kids
> they were pointing at me./ . . / And someone yelled out XYZ.

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