[Ads-l] keep / stick to your own kind!

Fri Sep 20 17:47:59 UTC 2019

I see a few early examples of "stick to your own kind," mostly on Google Books.  It seems to show up mainly in romantic novels and stories.

Joseph Altsheler, In Circling Camps:  A Romance of the Civil War 28 (1900):  "Stick to your own kind, I say, and you will be happier."  Commentary that an American woman should not marry someone suspected of being a foreign nobleman.

Mary Moss, The Poet and the Parish 31 (1906):  "You never get beyond wincing when they come out with the wrong word, the high school word.  Correct in a dictionary, wrong in a parlour.  Stick to your own kind, you're really happier with them."  Advice that a woman would prefer a man of similar class and intelligence.

George Pattullo, "Never Say Die!," Sat. Eve. Post, June 8, 1912, at 8, 9:  ""You stick to your own kind," Michael admonished.  "I won't have none of my family mixing up with the likes of him.  Sing?  That dago yowls like a kiyote!""  An Irish-American father tells his daughter not to be interested in an Italian man who can sing.

Peter Kyne, Webster - Man's Man ch. 5 (1917) (Project Gutenberg):  ""John, my dear boy, be careful," Neddy Jerome counseled.  Stick to your own kind of people-""  An older man counsels a young friend against a girl with a Spanish name.

"Keep to your own kind" is also found, but may have a slightly different connotation.

Annie Miller, Barbara Thayer:  Her Glorious Career, a Novel 39 - 40 (1884):  "But I will not encourage you in an entanglement with her.  Keep to your own kind of women, and I'll not interfere; but you shall not have the opportunity to try any of your arts - even painting - on her."  An older woman warns a frivolous young bachelor not to have a flirtation with an unsophisticated girl.

Gertrude Brownell, The Truth about Camilla 63 (1913) (ellipsis original):  ""I wish you to learn the danger there is in making love to . . . to tigresses!  Will you remember hereafter-"  His head was suddenly clutched, he felt claws through his hair, "to keep to your own kind, and let along such creatures as could eat you at a bite?  A man should be the stronger, while you - I could dare, fight, love, ten to your one.""  A woman warns away a man she thinks beneath her.

John Baker

From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Arnold M. Zwicky
Sent: Thursday 19 September 2019 11:56 PM
Subject: Fwd: keep / stick to your own kind!

repeating the request, because these things sometimes get overlooked, and then elicit responses on the second or third try...


Begin forwarded message:

From: "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU<mailto:zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>>
Subject: Re: keep / stick to your own kind!
Date: September 15, 2019 at 7:45:15 PM PDT
Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>>

On Sep 15, 2019, at 5:06 PM, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU<mailto:zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>> wrote:

for a posting about a Zippy cartoon on mixing of social groups, i will be using the formulaic admonition in the header above (famously used in a song from West Side Story). the history of the formula isn't important to the posting, but i'm nevertheless curious. does anyone here know anything about the history? (not of exhortations to endogamy in general, but of this specific formulation)

the posting is now viewable:

a Zippy about cartoony vs. realistic comics, with a pointed analogy to racial/ethnic/class divisions; "stick to your own kind"

9/15/19: Segregation in the soapy comics:


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

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

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list