[Ads-l] "short-bus people"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu May 20 03:03:28 UTC 2021

Pretty certain we had a short bus for special ed students in my small, rural hometown that dozens of regular sized busses coming in from the country in the 1960s.
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 6:53:00 PM
Subject: Re: "short-bus people"

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: "short-bus people"

The 2006 edition of Partridge has "ride the short bus" with a first
citation in 1995. Further below is a December 1994 citation.

Year: 2006
Book: The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English,
Volume 2: J-Z,
Editors: Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor,
Publisher: Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group, New York.
Entry: ride the short bus,
Quote Page 1615

[Begin excerpt]
ride the short bus
to be mentally deficient US
>From the literally short bus that special education students use in the US.

Actually, I think our bass player, Frank [Cavanaugh], rode the short
bus, but that was 'cause his mom drove it =E2=80=94 Baltimore sun, p. 8, 28=
September 1995

=E2=80=94Chris Lewis, The Dictionary of Playground Slang p 184, 2003
[End excerpt]

Date: December 31, 1994
Newspaper: The Leader-Post
Newspaper Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Article: 'Tak a cup o' kindness for auld lang syne'
Author: Ron Petrie
Quote Page A3, Column 4
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
When you're a Scottish laddie on your first day of school and you ask
permission go to the bathroom -- "Kin ye lit me oot? I mus' gae my wee
nip a tinkle!" -- the teacher immediately brings in a speech
pathologist. "Special" is what the pathologist calls you -- "Special
Ronnie" -- but deep down you know that soon you'll be riding the short
bus to school.
[End excerpt]

On Wed, May 19, 2021 at 8:31 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> w=
> Live and learn. Thanks.
> I believe that was the practice even when I was in elementary school, but
> I've never heard the term "short bus."
> JL
> On Wed, May 19, 2021 at 8:18 PM James Eric Lawson <jel at nventure.com> wrot=
> > Derived from the practice of using short(er) school buses to transport
> > students with 'special needs'.
> >
> > On 5/19/21 3:55 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > > What th' -- ?
> > >
> > >
> > https://www.yahoo.com/news/qanon-shaman-lawyer-makes-offensive-21443590=
> >
> > --
> > James Eric Lawson
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth=
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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