Posted by E. Ditor on November 23, 2002
In Reply to: Re: Nonsense posted by karl on November 22, 2002
: "Budweiser ads helped place the greeting "Whassup" in the American lexicon"
: Nonsense. "Wassup" has been in common American usage for at least 20 years. The advertisers didn't bring it up, they took it up.
: The fact that it wasn't until the ad campaign that fat white guys in golf pants said it really had no impact on the prevalence of its use among native speakers of "cool" dialect.
Point well taken. I have, however, determined that William Shakespeare (1564-1616) used the word "what's," e.g., "what is love, 'tis not hereafter, present mirth hath present laughter, WHAT'S to come is still unsure ." and also used the word "up," as in Hamlet's "to hold, as 'twere, the mirror UP to nature; to show virtue her own feature scorn her own image," and so we must perforce give the Bard credit for the locution "what's up," as well as the minor variants "'sup,?" "zup?," "s'happenin,'" etc., all of which clearly predate the vulgar "wazzzzzzzuuuuuuuup" which clearly cannot be original.