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gypsyscarlett
06-17-2008, 10:09 PM
Hi all,

In New England, a very common slang term is "wicked". We use it to mean "very". Hence, something can be "wicked good", "wicked bad", etc...

My WIP takes place in the 19th century. I wanted to have a character use it in dialogue, but I'm not sure if it was in use then. I've googled and yahooed and can't find any historical time frame for when it started.

Anyone know?

thanks in advance...

soma
06-17-2008, 11:30 PM
Have you tried the Historical Dictionary of American Slang?

gypsyscarlett
06-17-2008, 11:55 PM
Thank you!
I just checked the dictionary. It started in 1980s- so obviously I can't use it in this WIP.

Haggis
06-17-2008, 11:57 PM
Thank you!
I just checked the dictionary. It started in 1980s- so obviously I can't use it in this WIP.

I heard that term in the 1960s in Maine.


eta: But I realize that doesn't help any. Sorry.

Alvah
06-18-2008, 01:21 AM
Thank you!
I just checked the dictionary. It started in 1980s- so obviously I can't use it in this WIP.

I grew up in a suburb of Boston.

My friends and I used to say "wicked good" back in the late 1950's,
early 60's.

I'll be interested to know what source you find for
1890's Boston slang.

gypsyscarlett
06-18-2008, 01:21 AM
I heard that term in the 1960s in Maine.


eta: But I realize that doesn't help any. Sorry.

It doesn't help for this WIP, but I'll keep that bit of info in mind if I ever use 1960s Maine for a setting. ;)

gypsyscarlett
06-18-2008, 01:25 AM
I grew up in a suburb of Boston.

My friends and I used to say "wicked good" back in the late 1950's,
early 60's.

I'll be interested to know what source you find for
1890's Boston slang.


Unfortunately, I haven't found anything yet. If I do- I'll post the info/site here.

I have found some great sites on the history of swear words...:D

pconsidine
06-18-2008, 02:05 AM
Here's something that might be fun. It's not regionally specific, but it might help you out some.

http://web.archive.org/web/20061128043317/www.campchase.com/Slang/Slang-A-F.htm

gypsyscarlett
06-18-2008, 09:18 AM
Here's something that might be fun. It's not regionally specific, but it might help you out some.

http://web.archive.org/web/20061128043317/www.campchase.com/Slang/Slang-A-F.htm


Thank you so much! Just what I needed!

Pup
06-19-2008, 10:59 PM
For researching 19th century New England slang in general, here are a couple books written in the 19th century about American slang.

Americanisms; the English of the New World, 1872 (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=moa&cc=moa&idno=agd2486.0001.001&type=simple&rgn=full+text&q1=wicked)

Or if you're in an earlier period, Dictionary of Americanisms, 1848 (http://www.merrycoz.org/voices/bartlett/AMER14.HTM#w)

Another option is to try a google books search constrained by date, within a few decades of your era, if you can think of a search string that would make the hits relevant. For example, "wicked" would give a zillion hits, but something like "wicked good" shouldn't make you sort through too many non-useful ones.

There's also the option of looking for the works online of a dialect writer from your time and place, either at google books or elsewhere, and searching within his works. One that comes to mind would be the Sam Slick books by Thomas Chandler Haliburton.

gypsyscarlett
06-20-2008, 12:22 AM
Pup,
I just favorited both sites.
Many thanks :)