Hippie (etymology)

What is hippie (etymology)?  According to lexicographer Jesse Sheidlower, the terms hipster and hippie (hippy) derive from the word hip and the synonym hep, whose origins are unknown.

The words hip and hep first surfaced in slang around the beginning of the 20th century and spread quickly, making their first appearance in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1904.   At the time, the words were used to mean “aware” and “in the know.”

Hippie (etymology)

Hippie (etymology)In the late 1960s, African language scholar David Dalby popularized the idea that words used in American slang could be traced back to West Africa. He claimed that hipi (a word in the Wolof language meaning “to open one’s eyes”) was the source for both hip and hep.   Sheidlower, however, disputes Dalby’s assertion that the term hipcomes from Wolof origins.

During the jive era of the late 1930s and early 1940s, African-Americans began to use the term hip to mean “sophisticated, fashionable and fully up-to-date”, and the form hippie is attested as jazz slang from the 1940s.  Reminiscing about late 1940s Harlem in his 1964 autobiography, Malcolm X referred to the word hippy as a term that African Americans used to describe a specific type of white man who “acted more Negro than Negroes”. In his autobiography, Harry Gibson claims to have coined the related term hipster in the 1940s for use in his stage name. During the 1970s, Gibson remade his act to appeal to contemporary hippies, and is known as the ‘original hippie’.

Greenwich Village in the 1960s, New York City, young counterculture advocates were named hips because they were considered “in the know” or “cool”, as opposed to being square. In a 1961 essay, Kenneth Rexroth used both the terms hipsterand hippies to refer to young people participating in African American or Beatnik nightlife.

Hippy ClothingHippie (etymology)

Hippy used to be described in nature only however, over time, hippies developed their own style of dress which was coined, hippy clothing. As the years have passed the style of clothing has remained true to its original style but has been adapted to suit the modern times. Hippy clothing is also known as festival clothing as many people who do not wear hippy clothing on a day to day basis, just love to put on their favourite threads when off to a festival.

Thank you to the people who help add all this great information at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippie_(etymology)