Date: Mon, 27 Aug 1956 21:22:13 +0000
From: Tom Dalzell slangman[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PACBELL.NET
Subject: Re: Bee's Knees
In FLAPPERS 2 RAPPERS: 20th CENTURY AMRICAN YOUTH SLANG, at pages 20-22,
I spend a fair amount of time with the animal expressions of the Flapper
era. "Cat's pajamas" and "cat's meow" were the most popular of the
dozens of animal-based slang expressions of approval of the 1920's.
Ranking words or expressions by popularity is often an exercise in
futility, but "bee's knees" was certainly a strong contender for third
place after its cat cousins. The list was nearly endless, but by the
end of the decade the construction had largely burned itself out. One
still hears or reads an occasional "cat's meow" or "cat's pajamas",
usually in affected advertising or headlines.