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A 1930s Hipster

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Jerry in Lutherville, Maryland, was reading a 2018 biography of Nelson Algren, author of The Man with the Golden Arm, that mentions a group in the 1930s that were described as hipsters or hepsters. In the 1930s, the word hipster applied to a jazz aficionado who was in the know about all the cool places to be. Years later, the term hipster came to apply to others who were similarly in the know about such cutting-edge culture as as the best beer, the coolest clothes, the best podcasts. The term hippie, which denotes “a member of the counterculture,” probably derives from this word, as do hip and hep, which describe someone “in the know.” This is part of a complete episode.

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