[Ads-l] Antedating of "Scuzzy"

Thu Aug 24 17:17:44 UTC 2017

_Riverside [CA] Daily Press_ 17 Jun 1929 p 14 col 5 [from a syndicated "Uncle Wiggily" story on a kid's page]
"So the two grasshoppers hopped after the two chirping crickets and the two crickets skipped behind the scuzzy uzzy caterpillars, and the two caterpillars humped and bumped themselves along back of the Squiggle Bugs and the Squigglers followed the ants, and the crawling ants woggled themselves after Uncle Wiggily and pretty soon they all came to a little dingy dell in the woods and the rabbit sat down on a stump and put his basket beside him."

_San Diego Union_ 22 Dec 1962 p 8 col 5 [15 yr old girl speaker]
" "Riding a bike is really something," she said. "Of course, it's a little scuzzy in the rain." "
[This speaker also says "psyche me out".   I notice that the OED has no entry for the verb "psyche".]

_Greenwood [MS] Commonwealth_ 1 Mar 1963 p 6 col 7
"SWINGIN' SLANG, as lifted from my daughter's school paper:
Everyday           New Slang
Great . . .  . Tuff, swingin', cool
Fabulous . . . .  Mashy
Wierd [sic] . . . . . Scuzzy"

_Pittsburgh [PA] Press_ 3 Jun 1963 p 27 col 1
"Scuzzy.  Messy, dirty cheap-looking. (As: "She's a scuzzy-looking blonde.")"

_Omaha World-Herald_ 3 Aug 1964 p 1 col 2
""Scuzzy," it seems, is a new teen term for anything very good or very bad.  Thus, the 90-degree heat was scuzzy bad while the show itself was scuzzy good."

[Little Rock] _Arkansas Democrat_ 13 Sep 1964 mag sect p 10 col 1
""Groaty," "scuzzy," and "rank," parents soon discover, are substitutes for filthy, dirty, and smelly or low in caste."
[OED has 9/5/1965 for "groaty," under variant spelling "grody".]

> scuzzy (OED 1969)
> 1966 _The Paper_ 28 Mar. 1/4 (Independent Voices)  The girl who met us at the door had ... a black jersey (this uniform, and its levis-
> sweater undress version, is the scuzzy equivalent of the sorority girl syndrome).
> Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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