chicken/beef/bacon/steak/nut-burgers (Perelman, 1934)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Jul 9 22:54:32 UTC 2006

Wot, no cheeseburgers?

  The word seems to have been rather uncommon till after the war, if you can believe an Academic Search Premier canvas of the _Saturday Evening Post_.  Its earliest cheesebugrer doesn't appear till 1945.


Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Benjamin Zimmer
Subject: chicken/beef/bacon/steak/nut-burgers (Perelman, 1934)

In 1934-35, S.J. Perelman wrote a five-part piece for _Life_ entitled
"Strictly from Hunger". In the third installment, Perelman describes
entering the Pig and Whistle on Hollywood Boulevard:

"Strictly from Hunger III -- In Which Our Hollywood Man, with Horrible
Accuracy, Describes the Local Beaneries and the Plushnick Studio", by
S.J. Perelman
_Life_, Nov. 1934, p. 17/1 [HNP Doc ID 777355802]
"Well, let me see," pondered my waitress. "We have hamburgers,
chickenburgers, beefburgers, baconburgers, steakburgers. .... Why
don't you try one of our specials -- a nutburger?"
"...?" I murmured faintly.
"Hamburger with chopped nuts," she offered helpfully. "Double ball of
vanilla on the side."

"Strictly from Hunger" was published in book form in 1937 and has also
been included in Perelman anthologies, but it was apparently shortened
at some point. The above passage doesn't appear in the version of the
piece that appears in _Most of the Most of S.J. Perelman_.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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