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I'm sure most of us are familiar with a shrinking violet as being an excessively shy person; however, while reading from Flappers to Rappers: History of American Youth Slang Dr. Dalzell defines a "gussie" as 1920s slang for an excessively shy individual. Any ideas why this may be?

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I can see that you don’t know Gussie Fink-Nottle in particular — not to mention Gussie Mannering-Phipps — or you wouldn’t even ask. :) Fink-Nottle is “[d]escribed as "a teetotal bachelor with a face like a fish", he wears horn-rimmed spectacles and is a noted newt fancier.” – tchrist Mar 5 '14 at 2:17
Wow, "all gussied up" worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-gus1.htm looks to be a 1960's thing: books.google.com/ngrams/… I had no idea! – Wayfaring Stranger Mar 5 '14 at 4:00

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