Russ - My 1984 Random; House Dictionary lists "wimp" the same as your
dictionary but goes on |to state that it is from Wimpy, a character in
Popeye who was apparently "a passive, ineffective, often self-pitying
person" The rest of that stuff I won't comment on. Barb.
On Thu, 12 Oct 1995, Russ Hunt wrote:
> Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 19:19:51 AST
> From: Russ Hunt <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: WIMPs
> Rick, it's not a guy thing any more. Neither is guy, if it comes to
> that ("hey, you guys!" hasn't been gendered since early on in Sesame
> > When did it become commonplace to apply the word WIMP to women?
> > My sense is about ten or fifteen years ago--that before that mostly
> > only men were called wimps.
> I didn't notice it until a _lot_ more recently than that. But other
> trans-gendering of gender-specific words ("Bitch," for instance;
> "slut" probably goes back to Bill Murray in the film, can't remember
> the name, where Dustin Hoffman played a woman) has been going on
> about that long, so I may have just missed it. But here's an
> interesting fact: neither my old 7th new Collegiate (1963) nor my New
> World (1964) list "wimp" _at all_. My _new_ New World, however
> (1968), lists it without any sense of gender: "a weak, ineffectual, or
> insipid person." No etymology offered.
> I'm doubtful of the "wimple" derivation, because "wimp" didn't come
> into currency until _long_ after anyone saw or talked about wimples.
> (And what about "rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing in his
> ecstasy"? Was Hopkins just faking it, there?)
> Anybody got a good slang dictionary to hand?
> -- Russ
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