read my lips
Posted: 02 November 2007 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve read that this comes from a 1978 album by singer Tim Curry, who says he got it from his recording engineer ("I would say to him, ‘We got it that time,’ and he would say, ‘Read my lips—we didn’t.’ That phrase arrested me.").  Clearly the phrase existed before Curry and his engineer, but can anybody come up with an earlier citation?

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Posted: 02 November 2007 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Earliest in the New York Times archive only goes back to 1987.

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Posted: 02 November 2007 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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From Nigel Rees: “According to William Safire (NYT Magazine 9/1988) the phrase was rooted in 1970’s rock music (despite there being a song with the title copyrighted by Joe Greene in 1957). Several lyricists in the 1980s used the phrase for song titles.”

Typo corrected

[ Edited: 02 November 2007 10:27 AM by Skibberoo ]
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Posted: 02 November 2007 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks!

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