- Courtney Ferguson
- Slangy tries her hand at open mic night.
Continuing my Blogtown series, where I peruse my favorite book in the world, the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume II, H-O by J.E. Lighter.
I don't want to incite panic or anything, but this is the last installment of Selections from My Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang!! PANIC!! There are no more dictionaries in this reference book series—P-Z have yet to see the light of day. Maybe I'll cycle back through A-O soon... but this looks like the end, my friend. This week's slang is brought to you by Volume II's final letter "O."
oh-be-joyful n. whiskey; liquor.
1874: "Widow Mahoney no longer put a price on her liquid oh-be-joyful."
oil-butt n. Whaling. a whale likely to yield much oil.
1823: "'No sir, 'tis a right whale,' answered Tom... 'He's a raal oil-butt, that fellow!'"
ootchimagootchi n. lovemaking.
1942: "The Hollywood section fails to include 'ootchimagootchi' (hot talk as an obbligato to Latin love-making)."
-orama suffix. (applied for jocular emphasis to nouns and, later, adjectives). [Modern US usage may be directly traceable to the promotional use of the suffix in the creation of nonce coinages designating panoramic exhibitions, trade shows, special merchandising sales, etc., a practice especially common in the 1950s and 1960s; this 1896 quotation translates Balzac's account of independent French usage.]
1896: "The diorama, a recent invention... had given rise to a mania among art students for ending every word with rama... 'Well Monsieur Poiret... how is your health-orama?'"