[Ads-l] Antedating of "What's Up, Doc?"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 8 16:09:36 UTC 2022

> What's up, 'Doc' ?

Given that _Doc_ is separated from the rest of the phrase by quotes, could
not this also be taken as an early example of simple _What's up?_ as a
greeting/(rhetorical) question/catch-phrase or some other shxt like 'at?

On Sun, May 8, 2022 at 10:45 AM Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:

> The March 2022 release of new words in the OED spotlights "what's up,
> doc?," with a first use of 1935.  Here is an earlier citation.  There is no
> reason to believe that Persinger was a doctor.
> 1882 _Staunton_ (Va.) _Spectator_ 5 Sept. 3/1 (Newspapers.com)  The
> Alleghany _Tribune_ has this paragraph: "A beautiful black-eyed Staunton
> lady's presence in Clifton Forge is surmised to be the reason of Capt.
> Persinger's absence from the Cave at this particular juncture. At all
> events the smiles of joy that adorned his face evidenced that he was
> peculiarly satisfied with himself and the rest of mankind on this
> particular visit. What's up, 'Doc' ?"
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

- Wilson
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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