Hotsy-totsy originated in the Roaring 20’s. There are many parallels between the 1920’s and modern times. The U.S. and the world was just coming out of a World War I. Science was amidst a great debate over the size of the universe (aka the “Great Debate” of 1920). Today we have a great debate of our own: climate change proponents and deniers. And speaking of science, the famous Scopes trial in 1925 was an attempt by creationists to vilify and abolish the teaching of evolution in schools. We’re still seeing this battle play out in school boards today.
In the 1920’s we saw a rise in radical political movements worldwide. Today, there are many references and parallels to those radical movements: Fascism, Nazism, Nationalism, Fundamentalism, Communism and National Socialism. Political agendas focused on moral issues in the 1920’s, as they continue to do today. In the 20’s the 18th Amendment was ratified prohibiting alcohol, only to be repealed in its entirety 13 years later by the 21st Amendment. Today it is marijuana that is flip-flopping between legal and illegal in our courts, with the states taking the lead in decriminalizing it. The 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in the US was ratified in the 1920’s. Ironically, even though the door opened in 192o, women have a long way to go. Today women still suffer from workplace discrimination and wage discrepancies and continue to be objectified and denied the right to make their own health decisions. We have not come very far from the days when women were considered the property of her husband.
The Immigration Act of 1924 placed restrictions and quotas on the number of immigrants allowed to come into the U.S. Today, we are seeking to do the same and more, by building walls, registering immigrants of a particular religion and threatening to send immigrants back to where they came from. Also in the 1920’s we saw enrollment in the KKK peak after its resurgence in 1915. Sadly we are seeing a this trend again in today’s volatile and polarized society.
In the 1920’s if someone was hotsy-totsy he likely thought quite highly of himself. I can think of a few people who shall remain nameless that fit that description! 🙂 I love the other terms that were mentioned in the “Origin of the Word” segment in dictionary.com: heebie-jeebies and horsefeathers:
Origin of hotsy-totsy – The term hotsy-totsy first appeared in the 1920’s in William (Billy) De Beck’s hugely popular comic strip Barney Google and Snuffy Smith. De Beck, in addition to coining “hotsy-totsy”, also coined the terms “heebie-jeebies” and “horsefeathers”.
Such fun words! Of course I had to figure out a way to use them in a haiku. And so here it is. I often hear the warning that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We never learn do we?
at least some think so…others?
It’s just horsefeathers!
kat ~ 16 December 2016