"See You Later"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Thu Jan 27 03:27:22 UTC 2005

On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 20:13:20 -0600, Patti J. Kurtz
<kurtpatt4 at NETSCAPE.NET> wrote:

>Anyone know about when this expression was used as a casual form of
>"good-bye"?  I'm writing a historical novel and am not certain it's
>something my characters would say.

Newspaperarchive dates it back to 1879:

Marion Daily Star (Ohio), March 25, 1879, p. 3/2
"Call again -- very busy -- see you later -- got to go right over the
river!" said the restaurant man as he got away out of sight.

Looks fairly common in the 1880s-90s.

--Ben Zimmer

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