[Ads-l] Antedating of "Hippie" (Countercultural Sense)

Sat Nov 16 00:20:02 UTC 2019

It’s hard in many of these early uses to tell whether the hipster or the counterculture meaning is intended, and certainly that’s true of Normal Mailer’s piece from 1961, which is available online at https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=RmoQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=3osDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5119.  The key sentence reads:

“I don’t get much pleasure in saying this, but I think you [sc. President John F. Kennedy] are beginning to act a little like all bad hippies—responsibility is turning you to plumber’s lead.”

Mailer was also the author of the noted 1957 essay, “The White Negro,” which is a noted use of the word “hipster.”  That would seem to cut both ways:  It implies that Mailer was interested in hipsters rather than members of the counterculture, but it also implies that when Mailer wanted to talk about people who are hip, he called them “hipsters” rather than “hippies.”  On the whole, I’m inclined to think that Mailer had the hipster meaning in mind.

John Baker

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of ADSGarson O'Toole
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2019 4:46 PM
Subject: Re: Antedating of "Hippie" (Countercultural Sense)

During the previous discussion Fred gave a 1944 citation.


Ben gave a set of citations for a series starting on September 5, 1965
(which he reposted on this thread)


John Baker pointed to the Wikipedia article for "Hippie" which gives
citations beginning in 1961.


The Wikipedia article now refers to an April 27, 1961 article in "The
Village Voice" titled "An open letter to JFK & Fidel Castro" in which
Norman Mailer used the term hippies (I have not verified this).

The meaning of hippie evolved over the decades, and Fred was focused
on the "Countercultural Sense". Yet, it may be difficult to demarcate
the boundaries of the transitions in the semantics of "hippie".

Peter Reitan pointed out that in 1960 top columnist Earl Wilson
referred to Harlem-born musician Bobby Darin as a "hippie from New
York", and Earl Wilson also called his fans "hippies". Yet,
retrospectively, Darin is not considered to be a hippy; nor is he
labeled countercultural.


Date: June 8, 1960
Newspaper: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Newspaper Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Article: It Happened Last Night
Author: Earl Wilson
Quote Page 37, Column 5
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin 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.
They jiggled in their chairs. At least one sitting back to back with
me did.
[End excerpt]

In July 1962 popular columnist and game show panelist Dorothy
Kilgallen wrote about hippies using marijuana which is typically
considered countercultural, but marijuana was also linked to beatnik
culture. In addition, the hippies in this 1962 article were based in
New York and not San Francisco.

Date: July 24, 1962
Newspaper: Shamokin News-Dispatch
Newspaper Location: Shamokin, Pennsylvania
Article: Broadway
Author: Dorothy Kilgallen
Quote Page 4, Column 4
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
Uptown hippies have a new kick — mentholated marijuana. In other words
they get high but stay cool.
[End excerpt]


On Fri, Nov 15, 2019 at 1:14 PM Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com<mailto:bgzimmer at gmail.com>> wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 15, 2019 at 8:18 AM Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu<mailto:fred.shapiro at yale.edu>> wrote:
> > hippie (OED, 2., 1966)
> >
> > 1965 _San Francisco Examiner_ 14 Oct. 6/1 (Newspapers.com) One of the
> > oddest amusements I heard of while posing as a member of the Berkeley
> > Underground was that of a group of hippie students who thought it great fun
> > to sit around smoking marijuana and playing the game of Monopoly.
> >
> As we discussed last year, Michael Fallon used "hippie" in a four-part
> series in the San Francisco Examiner, starting on Sept. 5, 1965.
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2018-September/152817.html<http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2018-September/152817.html>
> Links to the series:
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23611289/hippie_1/<https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23611289/hippie_1/>
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23611379/hippie_2/<https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23611379/hippie_2/>
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23611403/hippie_3a/<https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23611403/hippie_3a/>
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23611420/hippie_3b/<https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23611420/hippie_3b/>
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23611436/hippie_4/<https://www.newspapers.com/clip/23611436/hippie_4/>
> I discussed Fallon's series in a recent Wall Street Journal column.
> https://www.wsj.com/articles/hippie-a-long-strange-trip-from-savvy-to-spaced-out-11570203488<https://www.wsj.com/articles/hippie-a-long-strange-trip-from-savvy-to-spaced-out-11570203488>
> --bgz
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org<http://www.americandialect.org>

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

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