Holiday calls from Carlsbad, California, to ask about the term bitchin’, or bitchen, meaning “great.” In the 1920s, the word was negative, but like bad, sick, ill, and wicked, this word developed a positive or emphatic sense. Surprisingly enough, the earliest record we have of the word used in this sense is from 1957 in the oh-so-wholesome book series Gidget! This is part of a complete episode.

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