Is "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" a real word referring to Irish hookers?

Mystery solved!

https://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/tracking-down-the-roots-of-a-super-word/supercal31.jpg


LINK TO STAFF REPORT: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2025/is-supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-a-real-word-referring-to-irish-hookers

Hmmm… According to the article in the cite you gave, you’ve misspelled the word in the thread title.
In the article it is spelled “supercaliflawjalisticexpialadoshus”, more than once. :wink:

I was quoting the article’s title, which is about the word in the 1964 film “Mary Poppins”.

It’s slightly different than the 1931 word.

I’m confused. The Staff Report clearly mentions “super-cadja-flawjalistic-espealedojus” as “the word as we heard it” reported in the 1930s although supposedly relating to 1918-ish. Similar, but different. So, I think you’re just providing another link to the what Eutychus (the author of that Staff Report) uncovered?

No - Eutychus was unable to provide the actual cite, because he looked in the wrong paper: “The Orange Peel”. I provided the cite for the first time, from “The Daily Orange”.

At first I was confused what your cite did to confirm the word applied to Irish hookers. Then I read the article.

Yes, Eutychus traced the origins to some unnamed Syracuse University humor magazine from the 1930’s. He then identified what he presumed was the only humor magazine there at the time, and confirmed that archive checks were unable to find anything.

marknyc found the article to which Peter Tamony apparently referred. It is from the Syracuse Daily Orange, not The Orange Peel. Kudos to marknyc.

Kudos, indeed.

Perhaps this is 11 years too late, but, while I agree that Maxim may not be your best source for entomological information, it might have been better for the Staff Report to downplay it as a source for etymological information. (Would entymological information, as in the report, have to do with the origin of names of insects?)

No, it would mean the hookers had crabs.

Ah, thanks for the explanation, and my apologies for being confused, and thanks to marknyc – we’ll see if Eutychus can amend the staff report.

I’ll kick this over to Ed, too – he needs to know for edit.

Wow, a word to hate men with … explains why it’s so long.

Insectuos relationships. Per Joyce.

Oy, my second obnoxious uncited Finnegans Wake ref in SD on earwig/ear/hearing (overheard sounds of sex)/family relationships in one day.

Hat trick coming?

I should point out that the Daily Orange is not, I don’t believe, a humor publication. As far as I know, it was and is the student newsmagazine of record on campus. Such publications often contain light-hearted, if not satirical, content, but certainly not to the level of the also-common campus humor magazines. So the (original) supposition that this must have been a humor magazine would appear to be unfounded.
Powers &8^]

Peter Tamony apparently made an incorrect description of the original source in his comment in Volume 47 of American Speech. Thus the complication in running down his source.

I can attest to that. My parents met while working on the Daily Orange (at a later period of time than the one in question) and the rest, as they say, is history.

I’m a little surprised that looking to non-humor SU publications of the time wasn’t next on the list, despite the incorrect description. Hindsight is 20/20, of course…
Powers &8^]

That’s the value of a good cite: people know exactly what you mean, versus having to guess from your sloppy and possibly inaccurate or poorly remembered description of what you mean.

Or you could just say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, and then everyone will know exactly what you mean.

Any chance we can get the staff to amend the original report?