the meaning of life; & brunch

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Tue Jan 8 00:55:02 UTC 2002

>[From a brief sketch of Frank Ward O'Malley ("O'Malley of the Sun"), a
>newspaperman]  He is supposed to have coined the phrase "Life is just
>one damned thing after another," and the word "brunch," to describe the
>morning newspaper man's breakfast-luncheon combination.   Stanley
>Walker, City Editor. N. Y.: Frederick A. Stokes, 1934, pp. 292-93.
>  The American Heritage Dictionary of American Proverbs credits the
>saying to a 1923 book of aphorisms by Elbert Hubbard.  The Oxford
>Dictionary of Proverbs, Sayings & Quotations and the Oxford Dictionary
>of 20th Century Quotations also say Hubbard.  They note that it is also
>frequently attributed to O'Malley.
>  The OED has "brunch" from 1896 (an English quotation in which it is
>attributed to one Mr. Guy Beringer) and 2 from 1900, at least one of
>which is also English.  O'Malley was born in 1875 (and died in 1932),
>and so is unlikely to have coined this word, although he may have
>introduced it to New York or coined it independently.
>George A. Thompson
>Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
>Univ. Pr., 1998.
John Masefield wrote a book titled / ODTAA/  (meaning one damned thing
after another), but I don't have a date for it.  I'd tentatively put it
around 1915.  In any case, the expression would have to have been
well-enough known by then that it could be expected that it would be
A. Murie

More information about the Ads-l mailing list