[Ads-l] next puzzle: 1903 "Hept--to get wise or next."

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 10 00:40:58 UTC 2020

For the hell of it, I googled _hep_. Among the findings:

Vollständiges Wörterbuch Der Englischen Sprache Für Die Deutschensprecher
Johann Ebers - 1793 - ‎Read
 Hep, hepp, S. eine Hambutte.

_Hambutte_ is a now non-standard form of _Hagebutte_ "[rose] hip."

On Sat, Feb 8, 2020 at 7:41 AM Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> (see PS below)
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>
> Sent: Saturday, February 8, 2020 6:16 AM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] next puzzle: 1903 "Hept--to get wise or next."
> On Sat, Feb 08, 2020 at 10:41:10AM +0000, Stephen Goranson wrote:
> > My list of seven early "hep" uses were ones I found. There are others.
> HDAS  gives (as does OED) 1903 Enquirer (Cincinnati) (May 9) 13: Modern
> Slang Glossary...Hept--To get wise or next."
> >
> > An article, "The Circus Origin of 'Hep'" by Laurence Senelick, Popular
> Entertainment Studies 1 (2010) 107-110 (and available online by title
> search) quotes the above and adds "[sic]" after "next." Though I think the
> "circus origin" fails, it did get me thinking about "next." Was it a typo?
> The News-Democrat, Paducah KY, admittedly later (May 18), also has "next"
> in the Glossary.
> >
> > Ads in the 1904 Kansas Agitator, Garnett (Chronicling America) agitate
> (all hepped up (OED sense 2), avant la lettre?) about a grand holiday sale
> >
> > My current guess: it's not a typo, but may mean something along the
> lines that the hept get wise and also are initiated (that is, helped into
> knowing) about what is upcoming.
> >
> It's not a typo. If you look up _next_ in HDAS, you'll find it defined as
> 'informed; aware; in the know; (hence) sophisticated; WISE', with a first
> example from George Ade in 1896, and ten quotations before 1910. (It's also
> in OED and GDoS.) The additional examples you've found are exactly in line
> with how the word was used in this period.
> Jesse Sheidlower
> Thanks. I have HDAS at hand.
> My main question is not about definition but about etymology of hep. OED
> spends most of the etymology discussion on a putative connection with a Mr.
> Hepp.  To me, unpersuasively. For one thing I found no double-p (*hepp)
> spellings. And the earlier dates also may make circus or barman guesses
> less likely.
> GDoS's hep etymology section includes "[rooted in the 19C SE hep, shrewd,
> which comes in turn from Hep!, the exhortation of the ploughman or driver
> urging his horses to ‘Get up!’ and get lively; ..." That baffles me, as I
> have not found Hep as shrewd in 19C Standard English.
> If new etymology suggestions are unwelcome here, let me know.
> Stephen Goranson
> PS. In any case, I have an article to write, with a deadline, and it is (I
> am) taking longer than expected, so I’ll take a break from list discussion.
> Thanks to many of you.
> Stephen G.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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