Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Jul 9 16:52:36 UTC 2006

On 7/9/06, Sam Clements <SClements at> wrote:
> Well, kinda.
> _The Kingston Jam[a]ica Freeman_  24 Feb. 1923
> >>The game fast throughout, with first one in the lead and then the
> other.  "Che[e]se" Burger, former star forward on the varsity, held the
> whistle, and allowed a fast contest.<<
> "Cheese" Burger was the referee.  The fact that a person with a last
> name of "Burger" could have the nickname "Cheese" would probably
> indicate that the term was well known by that point.  I can't think of
> anything other than a hamburger with cheese on it as an explanation.

I agree with Ron that this is most likely just a coincidence. By the
way, I believe the earliest cite we have for bare "burger" is from
1926 [1] and the earliest for "cheeseburger" is from 1928 [2].

[1] From the Penn State Collegian (found by me):

[2] From a menu for the Los Angeles diner O'Dell's (found by Barry):

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list