[Ads-l] Antedating of "Wetback"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Feb 15 12:58:38 UTC 2020

I see now that Barry Popik has previously posted a January 1920 citation for "wetback" from the Dallas Morning News.

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2020 7:51 AM
Subject: Antedating of "Wetback"

wetback (OED 1929)

1920 _San Antonio Evening News_ 20 Mar. 11/6 (Newspapers.com)  The other 50 per cent [of Mexican immigrants] are known as "wetbacks," a slang term applied generally to all who are smuggled across the river because of the popularity of swimming the Rio Grande as a means of smugging themselves across the river.

Fred Shapiro

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