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HD: 1961 Words
Posted: 20 March 2012 04:25 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Paparazzi, skyjackers, and trade-offs.

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Posted: 20 March 2012 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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born-again, adj. That “old-time” religion really isn’t. The theological concept of being recreated in Christ is old, so much so that born-again Christian is theologically redundant. But the use of the adjectival phrase to denote an evangelical Christian only dates to the 1960s.

I’m kind of shocked at this; I knew as soon as I saw it that it could easily be antedated, and all I can think is that the OED editors just weren’t that interested in the topic and settled for a few random citations.  The earliest use I’ve found so far is from the August 1922 issue of Moody Bible Institute Monthly (if you scroll up from the linked page you’ll see the date):

books?id=_aBVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA1162&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U0XDf7SaBvERg4pBCcmLXjUnE82XQ&ci=673,765,305,89&edge=0

But as you can tell from the casual use ("she was never able to decide if their former pastor was a born-again Christian"), it was obviously a well-known phrase, and I’m sure it can be further antedated, perhaps to the nineteenth century.  If I didn’t have work to do I’d do some more research.

grok, v. This word, from the Martian meaning to understand something or someone intuitively, makes its English language debut in Robert Heinlein’s 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land.

A blast from the past!  Does anyone under the age of fifty remember this word, so ubiquitous in the ‘60s?

spritzer, n. This name for a mixture of wine and soda water is first recorded in Merriam-Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

Lots of apparent antedates, but too many snippet views and dubious metadata.  Most likely candidate: from Hal Lehrman, Russia’s Europe (Appleton-Century, 1947), “Just then, a lieutenant-commissar came in for a Spritzer.” There’s also “It calls for a spritzer” from Harper’s, Vol. 201 (1950), reprinted in Bernard De Voto, The Easy Chair (1955), p. 46.  Anyway, it was obviously used well before 1961.

teriyaki, n. The dish of marinated fish or meat makes its way from Japan.

Way too late a date!  From Mousmé: A Story of the West and East, by Cllve Holland (F.A. Stokes, 1901), p. 299:

books?id=GZIuAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA299&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U0ZFfXKgVY-gIKg2wkWXXEBo84EFg&ci=136,677,673,277&edge=0

Again, I’ll bet this can be taken back to the nineteenth century.

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Posted: 20 March 2012 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Down, n.4 English physician John Langdon Down first categorized the genetic disability in 1862, calling it mongolism. But after a century, that term had come to be seen as offensive, and the condition was renamed Down syndrome.

I still prefer the possessive form. [mutters]

Does anyone under the age of fifty remember this word, so ubiquitous in the ‘60s?

I’ve heard of grok but only because of its historical use.
Had no idea of the origin, thanks for that.

I would have guessed shitcan was from WW2.

Never heard keyboard as a verb ... have you?

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Posted: 20 March 2012 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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October: Roger Maris hits his sixty-first home run of the season, beating Babe Ruth’s 1927 record;

What, no asterisk?

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Posted: 20 March 2012 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think the asterisk nonsense went out with “grok.”

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Posted: 20 March 2012 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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For some reason, I was just thinking the other day of the horrible copy the Science Fiction Book Club used in some of its ads featuring Stranger in a Strange Land:

The first human being born on Mars was a “grok” specialist!
That was the secret that made him irresistible to women!

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Posted: 20 March 2012 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks, that gave me a good laugh!

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Posted: 21 March 2012 02:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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February: Portugal’s African colonies begin their war for independence, which will last fourteen years; The Beatles perform at the Cavern Club in Hamburg;.

I’m no Beatles expert, but that should be “at the Cavern Club” or “in Hamburg”, not both, the Cavern Club being in Liverpool.

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Posted: 21 March 2012 03:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I haven’t read SIASL but you made me look it up on Wikipedia:

Dr. Mahmoud, nicknamed Stinky — semanticist, of Arab descent, and a devout Muslim; the second human (after Mike) to gain a working knowledge of the Martian language, though does not “grok” the language.

ROFL ... those semanticists really are stinky.

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Posted: 21 March 2012 04:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Yes, teriyaki is definitely much older.

I’m not so sure about the adjectival born-again, though. Although I would be totally unsurprised to find uses dating back to the 1920s, every pre-1960 instance I can find is in the verb phrase to be born again. (Languagehat, I can never find the snippet views you link to. I think Google scrambles them up and serves up a different snippet each time. In any case, it’s impossible to “scroll up” the page.)

Spritzer is also problematic. I can’t tell from the snippets what the context is. Are these references to the wine drink? I can’t tell. (Although the one that was reprinted by Bernard De Voto, who was well known for tipping a few, makes me think that one may be.) I suspect the Russia’s Europe usage, however, may be misspelling of schvitz; there are references to being naked in the snippet.

And my gods was wrong I about the Cavern Club. I had always thought it was in Hamburg. My Beatles history is all askew.

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Posted: 21 March 2012 05:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’m not so sure about the adjectival born-again, though. Although I would be totally unsurprised to find uses dating back to the 1920s, every pre-1960 instance I can find is in the verb phrase to be born again. (Languagehat, I can never find the snippet views you link to. I think Google scrambles them up and serves up a different snippet each time. In any case, it’s impossible to “scroll up” the page.)

Well, that’s bizarre.  In the first place, I didn’t link to a snippet view, I linked to a full view; you can’t get those nice cut-out chunks from a snippet view.  You mean when you click on the chunk of text you’re not taken to the magazine?  In the second place, when I go there I can in fact scroll up, or down, or anywhere I like; it’s a full view.  In the third place, even if you for some reason can’t access it yourself, I would expect you to take my word for it that it’s clearly dated August 1922; there’s no guesswork involved.  And finally, that wasn’t some weird outlier; there are lots and lots of uses of “born-again Christian” between then and 1961, that was just the oldest I found in a brief search.  I find it hard to believe our Google Books experiences are so different that you can’t find any of them.  I didn’t do anything fancy, just googled “born-again” with a date range 1900-1960.  If you want, when I have more time I’ll go back and list as many of them as it will take to convince you.

Spritzer is also problematic. I can’t tell from the snippets what the context is. Are these references to the wine drink? I can’t tell. (Although the one that was reprinted by Bernard De Voto, who was well known for tipping a few, makes me think that one may be.) I suspect the Russia’s Europe usage, however, may be misspelling of schvitz; there are references to being naked in the snippet.

For heaven’s sake, of course it’s not a “misspelling of schvitz”!  It’s a very clear ”Spritzer,” italicized because it was then a relatively new word.  Again, there are lots of hits in the 1950s; are you not seeing them when you search Google Books?  I find it a little strange that you’re so dubious about these antedates.

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Posted: 21 March 2012 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Dave Wilton - 21 March 2012 04:26 AM

I’m not so sure about the adjectival born-again, though. Although I would be totally unsurprised to find uses dating back to the 1920s, every pre-1960 instance I can find is in the verb phrase to be born again.

You’re right, Dave. If we’re just looking for the noun phrase, then the antedate would be in the 16th century. I was able to search for the phrase in lh’s Moody link and all uses of “born again” are borrowing the phrase from John 3. There is no adjectival use. Doesn’t mean that it can’t be antedated, just that this isn’t it.

I take it back. I finally found the adjectival phrase by scrolling to the lower right hand corner of that page. It does note that the woman wondered whether or not her former pastor was a “born-again Christian.”

[ Edited: 21 March 2012 05:58 AM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 21 March 2012 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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What?!  In the link itself, the bit you can see right there on this page, occurs the phrase “born-again Christian.” I feel as if I’m going mad!

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Posted: 21 March 2012 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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languagehat - 21 March 2012 05:58 AM

What?!  In the link itself, the bit you can see right there on this page, occurs the phrase “born-again Christian.” I feel as if I’m going mad!

It’s in the lower right hand corner. Good catch!

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Posted: 21 March 2012 06:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I’m kind of shocked at this; I knew as soon as I saw it that it could easily be antedated, and all I can think is that the OED editors just weren’t that interested in the topic and settled for a few random citations.  The earliest use I’ve found so far is from the August 1922 issue of Moody Bible Institute Monthly (if you scroll up from the linked page you’ll see the date):
But as you can tell from the casual use ("she was never able to decide if their former pastor was a born-again Christian"), it was obviously a well-known phrase, and I’m sure it can be further antedated, perhaps to the nineteenth century.  If I didn’t have work to do I’d do some more research.

languagehat, I trust you like a brother, but here’s what I get when I click on that chunk:

moody1.jpg

If I search on born-again, it shows me three text chunks, each of which contains the phrase “born again”.

born-again.jpg

If I search specifically for “former pastor was a born-again”, it takes me to the chunk above, but I can’t see that quoted text, and the chunk is not “clickable”, and nor can there be any scrolling:

former.jpg

This suggests that you are enjoying some functionality denied to me. Are you a subscriber or something?

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Posted: 21 March 2012 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Maybe because of the hyphen?  Anyway, Oeco saw it, so I’m not crazy! (*sigh of relief*)

But do you not see the text in the clickable box?  What do you see between “(if you scroll up from the linked page you’ll see the date)” and “But as you can tell”?

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