Date: Mon, 16 Sep 1996 11:38:42 -0700
From: Peter McGraw pmcgraw[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CALVIN.LINFIELD.EDU
Subject: Re: my grades are punk
On Mon, 16 Sep 1996, David A. Johns wrote:
At 09:59 AM 9/16/96 -0400, Dale Coye wrote:
I just read my grandmother's diary from c.1920 when she was at Cornell. She
wrote "My grades are punk." I asked my mother and father who were at Cornell
in the early 40s about it and they told me they thought everyone knew it
meant "very bad grades." I never heard it. Does anyone know how widespread
it was and when it died out?
My family has a letter written by my grandmother (why is it only
grandmothers?) in about 1913.
Only grandmothers? Well, maybe that depends on how old you are! My mother
(80, born in Houston, TX, raised in Oklahoma, lived in Oregon since 1953)
has always used "feeling punk" in the sense "not feling well"
She was living in a boarding house for young
women in Chicago and working at Comiskey Park as a secretary. In the letter
she described three young men who had come visiting at the boarding house
the previous Sunday, but her judgment was that they were "kind of punk".
This seems to be a slightly different meaning from the description of grades
or even feeling ill. But whatever she meant by it, she ended up marrying
one of those "punk" young men.