Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 01:12:43 -0400
From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: NAZI--An 1880s dude from Vienna??
What does "Nazi" mean and where does it come from?
OED is not much help. Barnhart's Dictionary of Etymology has 1930 and
states that it's an altered form of Nationalsozialist, based on the pattern
of earlier German Sozi, short for Sozialist, socialist.
Consider this beaten by about 50 years!
I have a huge file on "dude," part of which was published In Comments on
Etymology in October 1993. (American Speech's recent "You've come a long
way, dude" never quoted it.)
A most interesting article which was not published then is "Dudes of all
Nations" from the New York Evening Telegram, February 28, 1885, p. 5. There
are wonderful drawings of the American "dude," the English "masher," "Il
Dudo," the "coon," "ein feiner Hund," "El Petimetre," "Le Pschutteaux," and
one more that puzzles me:
Vienna is the home of this picturesque creature, and he may be seen, in all
his glory, at the concerts. Money is scarce and clothing dear at the
Austrian capital, so "der Nazi" embellishes himself, as much as possible,
with his hair--the air of Vienna appears to be conducive to hirsute
exuberance. Like all other dudes, he has a frantic passion for check
clothing; why dudes adore checks is one of those things that no ordinary
intellect can discover; it is a good topic for the profound German mind to
take up when it has nothing else on hand.
Der Nazi in Vienna in 1885? This puzzles me. Can anyone tell me--is
this the origin of "Nazi"?
(P.S. I'm doing political party stuff. Anyone with pre-1884 GOPs or GOMs,
please send them along, with or without NAZIs.)