A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 14, 2004
Yoots or Yutes (youths)
"What is a yute?" asked the Southern judge to a lawyer (played by Joe Pesci) in the movie comedy My Cousin Vinny (1992). Vinny (from New York City) was perplexed that his dialect wasn't understood.

"Yoot" or "yute" (for "youth") appears to have been especially popular in 1955, according to the citations below.


20 May 1955, Reno (NV) Evening Gazette, pg. 4:
They are not now at least the crazy, mixed-up "yoots" who claim the headlines daily in the cities.

23 May 1955, New York (NY) World-Telegram and Sun, pf. 15, col. 1 editorial:
Is This Dis-Tressing Barber-ism the Cure?
Mr. Murray Robinson, raconteur, explorer and historian whose delightfuldispatches appear in this newspaper, has observed and duly recorded an aspectof the child crime problem which we think has considerable significance.

Today's "yoots" (Mr. R.'s term for moronic young no-goods) all have onecommon trademark: A greasy profusion of hair pushed into a pompadour in frontand sweeping to an arrangement in back more appropriate to the behind of amallard. The yoots themselves have an unprintable term for this hair-dowhich refined publications have bowdlerized to "duck-tail."

12 June 1955, New York (NY) Times, pg. E10:
Name-calling is a handy tool of many to whom children in trouble with the law are "hoods" and "yoots" who should be thrown into jail or have their heads shaved as object lessons.

The Internet Movie Database
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Quotes

Vinny Gambini: It is possible that the two yutes...
Judge Chamberlain Haller: ...Ah, the two what? Uh... uh, what was that word?
Vinny Gambini: Uh... what word?
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Two what?
Vinny Gambini: What?
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Uh... did you say 'yutes'?
Vinny Gambini: Yeah, two yutes.
Judge Chamberlain Haller: What is a yute?
Vinny Gambini: [beat] Oh, excuse me, your honor...
[exaggerated]
Vinny Gambini: Two YOUTHS.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • Saturday, August 14, 2004 • Permalink