[Ads-l] Clarification of Key OED Citation for "Preppy"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun May 3 12:58:44 UTC 2020

I have pointed out the following in the past, but since the OED has not made the necessary changes, I will say it again.

The 1951 citation for the adjective "preppy" in the OED (contributed by me), identified as Yale Daily News, 24 Nov. 1951, is not really from the Yale Daily News.  It is actually from a parody Yale Daily News issue created by the Harvard Crimson.  This is made clear by an editorial note in the 26 Nov. 1951 issue of the Yale Daily News.

This 1951 source is more significant for its use of the noun "preppy"  than for its use of the adjective "preppy," since the noun usage is the earliest citation that has been found for "preppy" in its modern, collegiate sense.  The OED, however, does not include the noun citation.

Here is the full citation information:

1951 _Yale Daily News_ [actually a parody _Yale Daily News_ issue created by the _Harvard Crimson_, as explained by an editorial note in the 26 Nov. 1951 issue of the _Yale Daily News_] 24 Nov. 4 (Yale Daily News Historical Archive)  There are "preppy" groups and "doggy" groups -- never the twain shall meet. ... Apotheosis of this "club-drub" division came last winter when "Preppies" bought up all the tickets to a crucial Crimson hockey game, effectively preventing all "dogs" from attending.

Fred Shapiro

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

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