Letter: Rich vintage of a bodaciously good word

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Sir: John Windsor and the editor of Chambers Encyclopedic English Dictionary are quite wrong if they think 'bodacious' to be a modern slang word. It goes back at least to the mid-1930s and the jazz/novelty song 'Ride, Red, Ride' on which Lucky Millinder sings 'My goodness gracious/You thrills me bodacious', and although its connotations were slightly Stepin Fetchit ('I's most bodacious glad to see you'), its recent use by Bill and Ted can be seen as a polite acknowledgement by young whites of an old Negro tradition.

All of which shows that you should do your research properly if you want everything to be copacetic.

Yours faithfully,

SEBASTIAN ROBINSON

Glasgow

10 September

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