[Ads-l] Antedating mullet (hairstyle)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Mon Aug 24 07:54:17 EDT 2020


Negative result. A different GB snippet apparently refers to mullet fish not mullet haircut:

LE POISSON My mother took a lover which was never heard of or done he married her , called her mullet because of her mouth and the woman pretended to be angry at him I am not lying when I say that my mother was perhaps the most ...

SG
________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2020 8:11 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Antedating mullet (hairstyle)

There is a book that I have not seen, and it may not make the cut in regard to this to-do. Published in 1993 in NY. I mention it on the thin chance that someone wishes to check it.
After Asia :
poems /

Michael Gregory Stephens

1993
English Book 80 pages ; 18 cm
New York City : Spuyten Duyvil, [Bronx] ; ISBN: 1881471055 9781881471059 1881471047 9781881471042

According to HathiTrust it--supposedly, but not checked on paper--has haircut on page 1 and hairdo on page 7. And mullet twice on page 47.
Google books give a snippet* with one of the p. 47 reported uses:
"or done--
    he married her
called her mullet"


Stephen Goranson



*
https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://books.google.com/books?id=9OixAAAAIAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=mullet__;!!OToaGQ!9Xgw8zyUUN12ewSYRl8inruPZVj_3xA5i7rUWKlyYig_sQC9ky8mb-anUn7AozqH$




________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Saturday, August 15, 2020 11:58 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Antedating mullet (hairstyle)

Five years later, we have some resolution to the lingering "mullet"
mystery, in the form of an episode of the Slate podcast "Decoder Ring,"
hosted by Willa Paskin.

https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://slate.com/podcasts/decoder-ring/2020/08/the-history-of-the-mullet__;!!OToaGQ!5yGZl2yhwN08RfKYEvzTEzVpz1gXR14LtoPqIwxb_t04vUPKO-O5lf1gO2WZVYes$

I won't spoil it -- it's worth a listen for the excellent sleuthing by the
Decoder Ring team, which suitably impressed the OED's Katherine Connor
Martin, one of the episode's guests.

--Ben

On Thu, Oct 15, 2015 at 9:30 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Antedating mullet (hairstyle)
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Thanks to Ben for posting a link to the OUP podcast about antedating
> "mullet" (hairstyle).
>
> The OED has an entry for "mullet-head", noun. The first sense is "A
> stupid person" and the first citation is dated 1855.
>
> The OED also has an entry for "mullet-headed", adjective. The first
> sense is "Stupid, silly" and the first citation is dated 1853.
>
> These expressions were still in use in the 1970s and 1980s. Hence,
> some ambiguity is inescapable when searching for early instances of
> mullet (the hairstyle). The description "mullet-headed" might be used
> to label a person as dumb or to describe his hairstyle. The OED does
> suggest that the pre-existing term "mullet-head" might be the
> etymological source of the hairstyle sense for "mullet".
>
> Below is a link to an Imgur image that seems to show a page from a
> 1991 magazine with the phrase: "Three years ago, Craig Parker was a
> mullet-haired teenager who wanted to build a car that could rival the
> best. . ."
>
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://imgur.com/gallery/1uV57qo__;!!OToaGQ!5yGZl2yhwN08RfKYEvzTEzVpz1gXR14LtoPqIwxb_t04vUPKO-O5lf1gO_v8fVWP$
>
> I think this is the image that was discussed in the podcast.
> Apparently, researchers have been unable to verify the magazine image
> on paper. The podcast does not mention the reaction of the person who
> posted the image to the doubts about its provenance.
>
> Here is a link to a Reddit discussion from 7 months ago. (TIL means
> "Today I Learned"):
>
> Short link: https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://bit.ly/1Pv5EEO__;!!OToaGQ!5yGZl2yhwN08RfKYEvzTEzVpz1gXR14LtoPqIwxb_t04vUPKO-O5lf1gOwPL93qq$
>
>
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/2xe7wi/when_was_the_first_time_you_heard_the_term_mullet/__;!!OToaGQ!5yGZl2yhwN08RfKYEvzTEzVpz1gXR14LtoPqIwxb_t04vUPKO-O5lf1gO7ltxUgg$
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> That TIL is full of shit and a perfect example of groupthink. It took
> me under an hour of browsing through my Street Machine collection to
> find this reference to a mullet as a hairstyle from 1991.
>
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://imgur.com/gallery/1uV57qo__;!!OToaGQ!5yGZl2yhwN08RfKYEvzTEzVpz1gXR14LtoPqIwxb_t04vUPKO-O5lf1gO_v8fVWP$
> [End excerpt]
>
> On Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 11:03 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: Antedating mullet (hairstyle)
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > I agree with Fred -- looks like Google Books is conflating the 1973
> > novel _Cinderella Liberty_ (written by Darryl Ponicsan) with an
> > unrelated book of the same title from 2013 (written and self-published
> > by Cat Johnson). The "mullet" cite is from the latter, and it has no
> > connection to the former beyond the title, as far as I can see.
> >
> > For those interested in the hunt for "mullet" antedatings, I recommend
> > this installment of the OUP podcast Oxford Comment, where you can hear
> > from Katherine Martin and others about the failed quest to antedate
> > the Beastie Boys:
> >
> > https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://blog.oup.com/2015/06/mullet-word-origins/__;!!OToaGQ!5yGZl2yhwN08RfKYEvzTEzVpz1gXR14LtoPqIwxb_t04vUPKO-O5lf1gOwygHQeX$
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 9:58 PM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> >>
> >> I believe this is a 2013 citation, not a 1973 citation.
> >>
> >> On Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 9:30 PM, Peter Morris wrote:
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > OED Appeals
> >> >
> >> > https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://public.oed.com/appeals/mullet/__;!!OToaGQ!5yGZl2yhwN08RfKYEvzTEzVpz1gXR14LtoPqIwxb_t04vUPKO-O5lf1gOzV4dL_3$
> >> >
> >> > << The OED defines mullet as 'A hairstyle, worn esp. by men, in which
> the
> >> > hair is cut short at the front and sides, and left long at the back.'
> It was
> >> > certainly popularized, if not coined, by the hip-hop group the
> Beastie Boys,
> >> > whose song 'Mullet Head' [ from 1994] is the first known use of the
> term:
> >> > (snip)
> >> > Can you help find an earlier example of mullet? Or any proof that it
> truly
> >> > was coined by the Beasties? >>
> >> >
> >> > Comments say that they heard the term in 1970's, but give no written
> cite.
> >> > Well, here's one.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > From the novel Cinderella Liberty by  Darryl Ponicsan, 1973, chapter 2
> >> >
> >> > https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://tinyurl.com/qadm8z8__;!!OToaGQ!5yGZl2yhwN08RfKYEvzTEzVpz1gXR14LtoPqIwxb_t04vUPKO-O5lf1gO_ipklii$
> >> >
> >> > <<Weekly haircuts, no matter what. So it had been since he'd joined.
> So it
> >> > would be until he retired.
> >> >
> >> > Maybe he'd grow his hairout after that. Probably wouldn't go with the
> mullet
> >> > that had been so popular when he'd joined, but he'd keep it longer
> than it
> >> > was now.>>
> >
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>
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> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!5yGZl2yhwN08RfKYEvzTEzVpz1gXR14LtoPqIwxb_t04vUPKO-O5lf1gOy3IA7JT$
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