Even Further Antedating of "Movie"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Dec 4 05:02:42 UTC 2007

On Dec 2, 2007 8:28 AM, Shapiro, Fred <Fred.Shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> movie (OED3 1911)
> 1909 _Philadelphia Inquirer_ 14 Nov. 10 (America's Historical Newspapers)  Then,
> as is his habit, after a few moments of thought, he resumed with a new picture -- as
> they would say in the "movies."

Here's another one -- doesn't antedate the above, but I believe it's
the second earliest we've found so far...

1910 _Philadelphia Inquirer_ 6 Mar. 6/1 "Moving pictures are driving
out the old melodramatic show. These shows depend largely on the
appeal to the eye for their success and the moving pictures can do the
thing cheaper and just as effectively. Moving pictures are educating
play-goers." I do not wish to appear egotistical, but I recall that I
told you this in effect some two years ago, when the 'movies' were
still in their prime.

As with many of the cites found by Fred, this is from "The Call Boy's
Chat," a regular theatrical feature in the Inquirer. This cite
suggests that The Call Boy may have been referring to "the movies" in
columns that have thus far eluded our searches on AHN -- perhaps as
early as 1908, "when the 'movies' were still in their prime"!

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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