Big Blue

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 30 22:12:33 UTC 2001

On Tue, 30 Jan 2001 Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM wrote:

> I don't have any citations handy, but the 1984 date for IBM is too late.
> By
> 1984 the "Big Blue" nickname was so well known that a maker of an add-on
> board for the IBM PC used the name "Baby Blue" for its product.  I believe
> "Big Blue" refers to the fact that at the time blue was the most common
> color
> for the side panels of IBM mainframes.  (It was not the only color
> available.

This is the earliest citation from Nexis:

1981 _Business Week_ 8 June (Nexis)  "I don't want to be saying I should
have stuck with 'Big Blue,'" says one IBM loyalist.  The nickname comes
from the pervasiveness of IBM's blue computers.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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