Meltdown as temper tantrum

Scot LaFaive slafaive at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 1 19:29:25 UTC 2008

I don't have the info you want; I just have more questions. Is
"meltdown" specifically derived from the catastrophic nuclear reactor
event or does it somehow predate that?


On Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 2:18 PM, Mark Peters <markpeters33 at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Mark Peters <markpeters33 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      Meltdown as temper tantrum
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  I'm working on a new column about the language of children's tantrums, fits, and snits. I think I'm going to focus on the wide use of meltdown. I haven't run into a single parent of young children who doesn't use this term. The OED has meltdown being used figuratively since 1983, but there's nothing specifically about it as a child-centric term.
>  Does anybody have a lead or theory on meltdown's history re: kids? If you know of any other synonyms, that would be a help too...
>  Mark
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