for the (pretty) new word files...

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Sep 12 18:18:59 UTC 2006

On 9/12/06, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
> I can't remember if this was nominated before, but I just came across
> the verb "pretext" and the verbal noun "pretexting" that had been
> unfamiliar to me (although reasonably transparent).  Some definitions
> from early cites:
> pretexting, the practice of gathering private information under false pretenses
> the practice of "pretexting," in which "information brokers" call
> financial institutions and obtain personal account information by
> posing as customers
> There are 110 Nexis hits for "pretexting", of which 100 are from
> 2006.  The first is 2001, though.

Here's a 1992 cite...

bit.listserv.politics, Mar 12 1992
from the March 9, 1992 _Computerworld_
Morey said brokers typically have one or more SSA employees "under
contract" and pay $25 for each earnings history.  Another technique,
called "pretexting"," is to get the data by phone after claiming to be
an SSA employee from another office where the computer is down.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list