Ghetto Blaster
Posted: 08 June 2012 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  332
Joined  2007-02-13

Now that we’re up to 1981 on the OED entries and it hasn’t been included, I’m going to ask if anyone can dig up the original use of the term “ghetto blaster” or “ghetto box”.  These are the big portable stereos popular in urban settings in the late 70’s and into the 80’s (think of Radio Raheem in Do the Right Thing).  The devices were called “boom boxes” by electronics retailers and law enforcement types but co-workers of mine from Newark, NJ used the term “ghetto blaster” in about 1980.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 June 2012 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4658
Joined  2007-01-03

HDAS has April 1981 for ghetto blaster, citing the L. A. Times. August 1981 for boom box on WINS radio. The OED has July 1981 for boom box in the N. Y. Times and a 1978 Time magazine cite for box in the same sense, but which also says they cost “a mere £55,” which leads me to think that usage is British..

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 June 2012 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  332
Joined  2007-02-13

Thanks Dave.  Now that I think about it, it was probably summer of 1981 when I heard “ghetto blaster”.

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ HD: 1981 Words      Learning grammar ››