Antedating of "Pizzeria"

Thu May 20 13:35:27 UTC 2004

        It seems to me that the existence of a Verra Pizzeria in 1911 is at least evidence of the English use of pizzeria, even if it isn't necessarily conclusive.  The question, it seems to me, is whether English-speaking people were referring to the establishment as a "pizzeria."  Its listing as a grocer, of course, argues not.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
Of Douglas G. Wilson
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2004 11:26 PM
Subject: Re: Antedating of "Pizzeria"

>What about this one, submitted by Barry Popik in 1996?  Context too
>uncertain for a ca. 1911  or 1912 date?
>The 1911-12 Manhattan Directory lists a Verra Pizzeria grocer at 146
>Mulberry Street ....

I'm not sure that a proper name alone should qualify. If this listing by
itself provides evidence of the word "pizzeria" in English in 1911-12, then
I suppose that it also exemplifies an English word "verra" [or "vera"]?

The existence of an Italian or Neapolitan word "pizzeria" at that time is
not in question, AFAIK.

A similar objection can be raised against JTS's 1931 citation: if "A1
Progresso Pizzeria" is an example of an English (even borderline-English)
word "pizzeria" then it seems also to be an example of an English word

I fully grant the existence of the English word "pizzeria" today, and it
may be arguable that the English word existed in 1911 or earlier ... but I
don't think these names in isolation verify such existence.

Just my two lire worth.

-- Doug Wilson

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