Antedating of "Big Lie"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Fri Oct 21 19:56:55 UTC 2005

In the course of working on the Yale Dictionary of Quotations I have found
many antedatings of important terms in the OED; after the YDQ is published
I will send a list of such antedatings to the OED.

Here's one example now, although I have not tracked down the precise
citation.  The OED's first use for "big lie" is dated 1946, when in fact
this originated in or was popularized by a well known passage in
Hitler's Mein Kampf.  Mein Kampf was published in a full English
translation in 1939 and an abridged translation in 1933, so I assume "big
lie" can be traced in English at least back to 1939.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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