Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 15:16:10 -0500


Subject: Re: Streak

I can't speak to the origins of "streak" at Macalester, but it was a brief

but popular activity during the early 1970's, c. 1973-74. There was

even a streaker at the Academy Awards show. The term would seem to be a

natural adaptation of streak as used to describe lightening, for instance,

or any narrow band of light, and of course a sterak of luck had long been

a brief duration. By the way, Webster's Tenth does list this as ""to run

naked through a public place (p.1163), and the 3rd edition of the American

Heritage dictionary has one usage: "move at a high speed; rush" which it

attributes to Middle Eng. "streke' (line) from Old Eng. "strica," which would

also make the usage you describe a natural evolution. What dictionary are

you using there?