Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 22:31:41 -0500
From: "Jeutonne P. Brewer" jpbrewer[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]HAMLET.UNCG.EDU
Subject: Re: A new use of Ms?

I learned a different use of Miss and Ms. Miss was unmarried
female, Mrs. married female, and Ms. when not sure about
marital status. I didn't have a written form for Ms. until
the 70s use of Ms. as a general title for females, regardless
of marital status. I have never heard the use of Ms. used to
contrast with Miss in the sense of homosexual vs. sing..

I came from Okla. originally but lived in Texas (panhandle -
Amarillo and Gulf coast - Houston) during most of my public
school years.

Jeutonne Brewer

On Mon, 2 Mar 1998, Alan Baragona wrote:

Okay, this is a n

From: Automatic digest processor (3/2/98)
To: Recipients of ADS-L digests

ADS-L Digest - 28 Feb 1998 to 1 Mar 1998 98-03-02 00:01:12
There are 2 messages totalling 126 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Zori redux [long]
2. Brooklynese


Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 11:23:18 -1000
From: Norman Roberts nroberts[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]HAWAII.EDU
Subject: Re: Zori redux [long]

jrader[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] wrote

While the rest of you have gone on from huaraches and zoris to more
elevated topics such as butt thongs, I'm still thinking about zoris.

The periodical cites were marginal (_zori_: 3, _zoris_: 2). My
conclusion is that _zori_ is a regionalism (West Coast & Hawaii) and
even on the West Coast it may be fading because of the lexical
competetion. I'm still wondering if the concept of a sandal held to
the foot by a Y-shaped thong was a Japanese import (along with the
word _zori_) or if the Japanese word was applied to something we
already had (and hence is a counterexample to my claim about Japanese

My memory is not as sound as the WEB searching, but I can recount something
of the origin and introduction of the product. I first encountered the
rubber, foot shaped zori in late 1951. Several veterans of the Korean War
were assigned to our unit and wore these "Japanese shower shoes" around the
barracks. Many of us state-siders wanted to get some, but they were not
available in the PX at that time.

When I was reassigned to Far East Command in December 1952, I got a pair in
the Camp Drake (Japan) PX which I took along to Korea with me. They were
still a pretty new item, because not very many soldiers had them. In fact,
they were new and out-landish enough to have a company order prohibiting
their use outside of the shower room.

When I was reassigned to Japan the following year, I learned the name "gomu
zoori" 'rubber slippers or sandals'. They came in two styles: soft rubber
foot-shaped zori and a harder rubber rectangular shaped zori. Those of us
who weren't bothered by the Japanese name called them zori or zories;
others called them shower shoes.

When I was separated from the service in February 1955, the foot shaped
zori were available in the Camp Kilmer, NJ, PX. However, the pair I
brought home with me to the frozen north were an unqualified novelty, a
real conversation piece. Nobody had ever seen anything like that and
didn't know what to call them. I continued to use the Japanese term, but
my dorm mates at the University of Maine refered to them as "funny

In September 1958 I enrolled at the University of Hawaii to study Japanese
and discovered that zori were a popular item. Most of the students wore
them, and they were available in sundry stores and the sundries section of
the supermarket where I bought my groceries. The island English term was
"sleepah" or more elegantly "slippers," but in Japanese neighborhood stores
they were labled zori or gomuzori (frequently in katakana). Both the foot
shaped and the rectangular shaped footgear were available. I opted for the
rectangular ones because they were more durable than the others, although
it took a while to get a decent callus between your big toe and second toe.
Zories were such an ubiquitous footgear that in August, 1959, on the
occasion of the statehood celebration, there was an editorial in one of the
daily papers urging everyone to "put on shoes for statehood." I don't
think many of us did.

In 1960 S.I Hayakawa was at UH for the summer session to teach his
introduction to general semantics. He wrote a brief article, published in
the Honolulu Star Bulletin, concerning the large number of Japanese words
in Webster's Third, which we were still calling "the new dictionary." His
list was between 125 and 150 words, and conspicuously absent was zori.

My sainted linguistics professor, Samuel Elbert (of Hawaiian dictionary
fame) was a consultant for Webster 3 for Asian and Pacific languages. He
had submitted a large number of Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, and Portuguese
derived words of which many were not included in the final edition. I
asked him about zori, which he had included, and he answered that he
supposed that beginning with "z" counted against it since English doesn't
like words that begin with "z." I don't think zori made it into the desk
dictionaries before the late seventies or early eighties. It is not in my
1969 American Heritage Dictionary, but I find it in my 1980 New World

About the spring of 1961 I first heard the term "go aheads" applied. The
term made wonderful sense, but I never used it. "Flip flops" came much
later, probably during the seventies.

Today there is quite a variety of zori in various Hawaii shops of which one
such is named "The Slipper House." My preference is for Otafuku, the
manufacturer's name for a heavy duty zori with a half inch sole, a half
inch heel, and a pebbled upper surface which is supposed to massage your
feet while you walk. They last a long, long time and feel good on my feet.

Zori and slipper are probably the most common terms of choice in Hawaii
although go ahead and flip flops are still heard. They are still the most
common footgear; people wear them everywhere unless specifically told to
wear shoes.

To answer the question, I think they came with their Japanese name, which
most likely got rejected except in places like Hawaii and California where
there are large numbers of Japanese-Americans. I have no idea whether or
not we had thong sandals before we had zori, but if we did, they could not
have been very common.