Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Thu Apr 14 18:35:07 UTC 2005

On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 11:06:44 -0400, Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>

>We seem not to have directly discussed "go-to" (e.g.
>"go-to guy") here before, though it's come up in
>passing. William Safire's new researcher was asking
>about it. I can find 1985 in a basketball context,
>but before that all I get are false hits or misdated
>newspaperarchive articles, with nothing in some
>1970s-early 1980s basketball books I've checked.

I don't see anything pre-1985 in the databases, though it's worth checking
for "go-to man" in addition to "go-to guy"...

Washington Post, April 4, 1985, p. B1 (Nexis)
"In a close game, we knew who to go to," said Wood. "When a game gets
tough, you don't have to tell one guy to shoot and another guy not to
shoot. They go to the person who gets the job done, and on our team
Sherman was that person."
"The go-to man," Burrell calls Douglas.

--Ben Zimmer

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