must-buy, must-read, must-see

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Jan 4 23:49:13 UTC 2005

* must-buy (OED3 1979)

1934 _Chronicle Telegram_ (Elyria, Ohio) 23 Mar. 12/1 (advt.) Add this
great value to your list of "must buys" for spring.

1940 _Chicago Tribune_ 18 Nov 17/7 When the dark fur coats finally get out
into daily circulation, pastel colored thin wool dresses become a "must"
buy for nearly every shopper.

1951 _Valley Morning Star_ (Harlingen, Texas) 6 May 1/2 What are your
must-buys for May?

* must-read (OED3 1973)

1945 _Chicago Tribune_ 19 May 5/7 (advt.) It's the most-discussed novel of
the season ... a must read if you like to keep up with the new books!

1946 _Los Angeles Times_ 17 Feb. B1/8 With idealists shouting all over the
world the need for better understanding in human relationships, here is a
book that is a "must read" for every honest American.

1949 _Zanesville Signal_ (Ohio) 27 Nov. III9/5 A Must-Read Book about war
hero Bernt Balchen: "Hitch Your Wagon."

1950 _Syracuse Herald Journal_ 5 Feb. 14/1 A must-read for civilized
people (and even the gullibles on pamphleteers' lists) is "The Strange
Case of Merwin K. Hart" in Plain Talk mag for Feb.

* must-see, n. (OED3 1976)

1936 _New York Times_ 17 Sep. 4/1 (advt.) A "must see" on your
Entertainment program!

1937 _Washington Post_ 1 May 16/1 Recommended for the entire family; never
dull; not a must-see, but in truth, a picture you will enjoy.

1939 _Port Arthur News_ (Texas) 29 Jan. B6/3 (heading) 'Jesse James' is a
must-see on picture list.

* must-see, a. (OED3 1991)

1936 _Los Angeles Times_ 21 Aug 3/1 (advt.) It's a "must see show" now at
the Biltmore Bowl.

1938 _Los Angeles Times_ 11 Mar. 15/7 (advt.) we advise everyone to chalk
up 'Mad About Music' as a 'must see' picture!

1940 _Marion Star_ (Ohio) 20 July 5/4 (advt.) This is a must see attraction.

1943 _Portsmouth Herald_ (New Hampshire) 6/5 Dr. Valeria Parker,
nationally known director of the Bureau of Marriage Counsel and Education,
recommends it is a "must-see" picture for the entire family.

--Ben Zimmer

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