[Ads-l] Boogaloo

Bill Mullins amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 2 17:28:22 UTC 2020

The NPR article linked by Ben Zimmer gives some history of the word, mostly in relation to the musical/dance sense.

The earliest the OED has for any sense is 1965.

Some of these may be related to OED n2 (1972) "(offensive) . . . a black person. Cf. boogie."

_Pensacola [FL] Journal_ 17 Jun 1929 p 3 col 2
"Battery 'F' has been blessed with about 80 boogaloos each of whom seem to be ready for a month of good work; however, they give an expression of fear when they hear 'K. P.'"

_Pensacola [FL] Journal_ 24 Jun 1929 p 2 col 1
"The 'Boogaloos' get a real kick out of doing kitchen police since all labor saving devices have been installed."

Camden NJ _Morning Post_ 10 Oct 1935 p 2 col 4
[in reference to natives of Ethiopia]
"They quarrel about Boo-Galoo's chickens scratching up Gaw-Balaw's melon seed, or about Gaw-Balaw's hogs rooting in Boo-Galoo's yam patch."

_Des Moines [IA] Tribune_ 28 Jul 1942 p 2 col 1
"No less an authority than Philip A. DuMont, senior administrative assistant in the division of wildlife refuges, U.S. department of the interior, writes to identify for you the animal which arrived unnannounced at Mac's Bug-A-Lu at Johnston."

Seymour IN _Tribune_ 4 Sep 1956 p 10 col 3
"Outside the big top, the elephant riders struggled to line up their charges.  Upon hearing the proper cue, the lead driver yelled a mysterious word sounding like, 'Boogaloo!' and his huge carrier, named 'Margie,' rumbled forward."

St. Martinville LA _Teche News_ 30 Nov 1956 p 1 col 7
"Rounding the line are peewee Ashley Melancon, Boogaloo Miguez and Richard 'Dead Eye Dick' Boudreaux."

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

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