"cool" dates back to WW2. how cool is that?

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 5 20:19:10 EDT 2004

Grouse always seemed to me to be one of those rather
old fashioned australianisms, that by the '60s when i
was growing up was little used. Others would be things
like "bottler" and "bonzer", "dinkum" was still used
in the expression "fair dinkum", while "buckley's" of
even older vintage was I term that I never heard until
the '70s, perhaps as that one originated in Victoria
it hadn't made it over the Murray yet. The oldest
citeation for grouse in the dictioanries at school is
from a 1924 newspaper, and it makes no guess as to its


--- "Ding, Kylie (KAM.RIC)" <Kylie.Ding at us.kline.com>

> Oh yeah, I remember that fromt he 80s.
> Kylie
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ros Gross [mailto:roslyngross at hotmail.com]
> Sent: Friday, 3 September 2004 9:17 PM
> To: dwj at suberic.net
> Subject: RE: "cool" dates back to WW2. how cool is
> that?
> Do any other Aussies remember how "grouse" meant
> "great" or "cool" back in the late 70s? At least, it
> was used by high school kids back then in Melbourne.
> Maybe it was used elsewhere as well?
> Ros
> >I'm only 24 myself, but I was pretty sure that
> "cool" is not a 
> >*recent* slang word... so I checked online, and got
> this from 
> >dictionary.reference.com: 
> >--Amy 
> > 
> >Our Living Language: The usage of cool as a general
> positive epithet 
> >or interjection has been part and parcel of English
> slang since 
> >World War II, and has even been borrowed into other
> languages, such 
> >as French and German. Originally this sense is a
> development from a 
> >Black English usage meaning "excellent,
> superlative," first recorded 
> >in written English in the early 1930s. Jazz
> musicians who used the 
> >term are responsible for its popularization during
> the 1940s. As a 
> >slang word expressing generally positive sentiment,
> it has stayed 
> >current (and cool) far longer than most such words.
> One of the main 
> >characteristics of slang is the continual renewal
> of its vocabulary 
> >and storehouse of expressions: in order for slang
> to stay slangy, it 
> >has to have a feeling of novelty. Slang expressions
> meaning the same 
> >thing as cool, like bully, capital, hot, groovy,
> hep, crazy, 
> >nervous, far-out, rad, and tubular have for the
> most part not had 
> >the staying power or continued universal appeal of
> cool. In general 
> >there is no intrinsic reason why one word stays
> alive and others get 
> >consigned to the scrapheap of linguistic history;
> slang terms are 
> >like fashion designs, constantly changing and never
> "in" for long. 
> >The jury is still out on how long newer expressions
> of approval such 
> >as def and phat will survive. 
> >http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=cool 
> > 
> >On Sep 2, 2004, at 8:04 AM, Aimee Smith wrote: 
> >>(Ponders briefly and wonders whether, if it wasn't
> obvious, whether 
> >>she 
> >>should give herself away...) 
> >>Spot on, Minnow! 'Cool' was the word (the other
> option was 
> >>'awesome' though 
> >>I thought that a little strong for my purposes), I
> thought 'cool' 
> >>was age 
> >>specific, as everyone I knew growing up in the 90s
> used it. A lot. 
> >>As their 
> >>parents, who apparently grew up when it was
> first(?) used, rolled 
> >>their eyes 
> >>and winced. Similar reaction when my father hears
> one of his 
> >>daughters refer 
> >>to a female as a 'chick', or express an interest
> in Abba. 
> >>Funny, he didn't protest about us all inheriting
> his love of 
> >>science 
> >>fiction... 
> >>Aimee, who was 20 in March. 
> >>(Who thanks to Dad is a Trekkie and despite Dad is
> an Abba fan). 
> > 
> >-- 
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