What is the history of the word ‘hip’?

James Brown was famously introduced by Lucas ‘Fats’ Gonder at the Apollo Theater in the early 1960s as ‘The Hardest Working Man in Show Business’, an epithet that stuck with Brown for his entire
Philosophy News image
James Brown was famously introduced by Lucas ‘Fats’ Gonder at the Apollo Theater in the early 1960s as ‘The Hardest Working Man in Show Business,’ an epithet that stuck with Brown for his entire life. It is a fitting term for the word hip–the hardest working word in the lexicon of American slang. For more than 110 years, hip has found a prominent place in our slang, reshaping and repurposing itself every few decades to carry itself forward, from the early twentieth century’s hip to today’s hipster movement. Hep or hip For years hep and hip were used interchangeably. Hep was recorded first, on 9 May 1903, in the Cincinnati Enquirer. The first recorded example of this sense of hip (meaning ‘very fashionable’) is found in George V. Hobart’s 1904 slang-rich short novel Jim Hickey: A Story of One-Night Stands: ‘Say Danny, at this rate it’ll take about 629 shows to get us to Jersey City, are you hip?’ A year earlier, cartoonist T.A. Dorgan had used the names ‘Joe Hip’ and ‘old man Hip,’ but. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: OUPblog » Linguistics

blog comments powered by Disqus