Bulldog edition
Posted: 01 February 2013 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  393
Joined  2007-02-13

The subject of why an early edition of a newspaper is called the “bulldog edition” came up at work today.  Wikipedia says the origin is unclear, but perhaps came out of the atmosphere of the 1890’s “newspaper wars” of New York City where papers “fought like bulldogs” with each other trying to gain readership.  Does anyone have any insight?

Anything to do with the Latin bulla from which we get bulletin?

Posted: 01 February 2013 01:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  1067
Joined  2007-03-01

No, because a bulldog was one bred to fight bulls, and as far as I know there’s no connection between the Germanic word bulla, ‘bull’, which the OED suggests derives from an Old Gemanic root meaning ‘to roar’, and the Latin bulla, ‘denoting various globular objects’ as the OED puts it.

Posted: 02 February 2013 03:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  2757
Joined  2007-01-30

Barry Popik has a column on this with early cites (he says it’s recorded from 1907 although he hasn’t given that particular cite.) Nothing on origin though other than it’s believed to have originated in New York.

Posted: 03 February 2013 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  283
Joined  2007-02-23

A newspaper column in 1940 states that the term is based on strong competition ("fighting like bulldogs” or something like that) between NYC newspapers in the 1890’s, with early (maybe midnight or so) editions sent out by early morning mail train. I don’t vouch for the etymology, it’s just somebody’s assertion.

The earliest citation I see is 1902, from Iowa, referring to Chicago bulldog editions reaching eastern Iowa early enough to compete with the local morning papers.

Posted: 03 February 2013 10:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Total Posts:  650
Joined  2011-04-10

This may be of interest.

In The Independent (Weekly Magazine est. 1848, 130 Fulton Street, New York City), Volume 72, January-June, 1912, on p. 948, in an article entitled:


The following appears [link]:


This is from an article on the famous ship disaster, which sank in April of 1912. I don’t know much about poker, so the reference to the game (if indeed it is a reference to the game) escapes me.

[ Edited: 03 February 2013 10:57 PM by sobiest ]
Posted: 03 February 2013 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Total Posts:  392
Joined  2012-01-10

I’m not sure about this, but I don’t think the article is claiming that the term “bulldog edition” has anything to do with poker.  I think the author is obliquely referencing the practice in poker of one player saying, “I see your bet, and I raise you,” and is using that as an analogy for the bulldog edition’s relationship to the morning edition: the bulldog edition sees, and raises, the morning one.  Or perhaps the author means that the bulldog edition tries to outdo the morning edition, as one poker player tries to outdo his or her opponents.  Either way, I don’t think an etymological claim was being made.