[Ads-l] Fw: More Precise Information on Antedating of "Kilroy"

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sat Mar 27 10:39:52 UTC 2021


a)The scan of Brief on Google Books does not include volume one, Dec. 7, 1943ff.
But that reportedly is available in the 3 microfilm reels; 35 mm./ (US Army Military History Research Collection. Camp newspapers roll ; no. 62-64), which may include other slang or new coinings, Kilroyish or otherwise.

b) Given the lack, so far, of published Kilroy graffiti reports from 1943 or earlier, I second Fred's question whether the claimed 1943 buttons are reliable evidence. (Besides later  manufactures, such as in "I was there at X-event" T-shirts, might 1943 be a button patent or such?)


From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2021 4:38 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: More Precise Information on Antedating of "Kilroy"

For reference, here are clippings for the two Texacts cites found by Fred
(Apr. 21 and July 14, 1945), along with two more relevant cites from the
same newspaper (June 30 and July 21).


The Apr. 21 and June 30 articles simply ask "Who is Kilroy?" Stephen's
discovery, the Brief article by Roger Angell dated June 26, includes the
line "Kilroy ditched here," so that may be the earliest we have for the
canonical form "Kilroy VERBed here."


Newspapers.com has a "Kilroy" article from the Los Angeles Daily News dated
May 20, 1945, but on closer inspection it's from 1946.



On Fri, Mar 26, 2021 at 5:30 AM Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:

> I see that I posted about the "Kilroy" antedating in 2016.  The Texacts
> newspaper of Sheppard Field Army Air Forces base (near Wichita Falls,
> Texas) is on NewspaperArchive.  See below.
> Fred Shapiro
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Sent: Friday, April 1, 2016 5:29 PM
> Subject: More Precise Information on Antedating of "Kilroy"
> Here's more precise antedating information:
> Kilroy (OED 1945 [20 Oct.])
> 1945 Sheppard Field Texacts (newspaper of Sheppard Field Army base, Texas)
> 21 Apr. 9/4 (NewspaperArchive)  Who is Kilroy?  What a one man campaign!
> He seems destined to go down in history along with Foo and Novschmozkapop
> as a family by word.
> 1945 Sheppard Field Texacts (newspaper of Sheppard Field Army base, Texas)
> 14 July 3/1 (NewspaperArchive)  If we knew the true identity of KILROY we
> would come right out and say so.  You have seen his name written in a
> variety of places -- mostly on walls.  He always states, with evident
> pride, that KILROY did this or that, or that "KILROY was here."
> Fred Shapiro

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