Etymology
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rookie (n.)

"raw recruit," 1868, a word popularized by Kipling's "Barrack-Room Ballads" (1892) but one of uncertain origin, perhaps from recruit and influenced by rook (n.1) in its secondary sense, suggesting "easy to cheat." Barrère ["A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant," 1890] has "Rookey (army), a recruit; from the black coat some of them wear," which suggests it is from rook (n.1). The word came into general use in American English during the Spanish-American War.

The rapid growth of a word from a single seed transplanted in a congenial soil is one of the curiosities of literature. Take a single instance. A few weeks ago there was not one American soldier in a thousand who knew there was such a word as "rookey." To-day there are few soldiers and ex-soldiers who have not substituted it for "raw recruit." [The Midland Monthly, December 1898]
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first-timer (n.)
"rookie, one doing something for the first time," 1888, from first time; see first (adj.) + time (n.).
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