Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 11:18:01 -0500

From: Alan Baragona baragonasa[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]VAX.VMI.EDU

Subject: TAN: folk etymology of copasetic

Recently, there were separate discussions on this list about the nature of

folk etymology and about the mysterious etymology of "copasetic". They

dovetailed for me this morning while talking to a colleague, and I thought

I'd share an accidental folk etymology with the list. Whether this is one

model for how folk etymologies arise I would not venture to say.

My friend used "copasetic," and when I mentioned that it had been the topic

of conversation here, he said he'd always dimly assumed that it was the name

of a laxative that had been extended to mean anything that went as smoothly

as crap through a goose. I pointed out that he was confusing "copasetic"

with "Kayopectate" (sp?), but he admitted that even if he had remembered the

real name of the laxative, he might have thought that "copasetic" was just a

variation of it.

This is probably as reasonable an etymology as Partridge's joke that it

comes from "cope" and "antiseptic" by way of Amerindian.

Alan B.