[Ads-l] Antedating of "Hippie"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 10 17:28:00 UTC 2018

If changes in fashion and pop-culture alter the conception of what makes one "hip" - does the "meaning" of the word "hippie" change when one fashion replaces another?

Is the meaning of the word affected by the particular fashion in vogue in San Francisco in 1965, if the meaning has always been one who is hip?

As an ex-hippie in "The Big Chill" bemoaned the loss of their college-day idealism to the pursuit of profits in the go-go-80s, "I hate to think it was all just fashion."

The San Francisco Examiner referred to Bobby Darin, of all people, as a "hippie" in 1960:

[Excerpt] Bobby Darin, a hippie from New York City, Tonsil No. 1 in the "New Noise" sweeping America, completely conquered all the New York hippies.  He gave the gals the jiggles - not the giggles - the jiggles. [End]

The San Francisco Examiner, June 9, 1960, Section 1, page 17.

And it used "hippie" as one, among several, euphemisms for "juvenile delinquent" in 1963.

[Excerpt] Soon, in Western Europe, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, adult labor will be almost as uncommon as child labor is now.  Everybody will have a chance to be a Beatnik, a Teddy Boy, a Stilyagik, a hooligan, a hippie.  We can all be juvenile delinquents together, from 5 to 75. [End]

Kenneth Rexroth, "A Tidal Wave of Revolution," The San Francisco Examiner, May 26, 1963, section II, page 2 (newspapers.com page 34).

Is the 1965 usage really that much different, or did the fashions just change?

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2018 9:18 AM
Subject: Re: Antedating of "Hippie"

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: Antedating of "Hippie"

>From Wikipedia:

The first clearly contemporary use of the word "hippie" appeared in print
on September 5, 1965. In an article entitled "A New Haven for Beatniks,"
San Francisco journalist Michael Fallon wrote about the Blue Unicorn
coffeehouse, using the term hippie to refer to the new generation of
beatniks who had moved from North Beach into the Haight-Ashbury district of
San Francisco. (In a 1969 interview, San Francisco writer Ralph Gleason
attributed this move to tourism.) Fallon reportedly came up with the name
by condensing Norman Mailer's use of the word "hipster" into "hippie."

Fallon's 9/5/65 article in the San Francisco Examiner was the first in a
four-part series:


I used 1965 as the birth year of the Bay Area countercultural "hippie" here
(based on Fallon's series, I think):


On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 11:58 AM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>

> The context doesn't clarify much, but it is likely, I think, that the 194=
> citation is in the basic sense of "one who is hip."
> I have tried to antedate the 1966 first use for the "Berkeley
> countercultural" sense of "hippie," but it seems to be difficult to find
> 1965 evidence.
> Fred Shapiro

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

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