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Let us jump on the Old School Bus (not to be confused with the old school bus, which broke down on the side of the road back there) and take a ride back to high school, or maybe even late middle school if you were that kid.

Remember when you passed notes to friends in the hallway between classes (because we sure didn’t have cell phones with which to text back then), and immortal mortification set in if you ever got called on in class?

Those were the days that were also marked by a whole new lingo for lots of things. Everyone knew you made it first base (at least!) because you came to school the next day with the tell-tale mark of glory (or scrutiny) — the hickey!

How on earth did this term come to pass? The etymology eludes me. Hickey has little to do with the things actually related to it: kissing, neck, skin, sucking, bruising. None of these come close to the word.

So, I ask: how (and who!) coined the 1-word phrase for a love-bite?

~M

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