"drive-by shooting"--- query from National Geographic researc

Barnhart barnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Wed Apr 2 11:00:08 UTC 2008

In The Barnhart New-Words Concordance (formatting is skewed):

drive-by, adj. .......................................  LRNW
drive-by, n., adj. ...................................  Bloom
  or drive-by shooting ...............................  ODNW
  or driveby
  or drive by   .........................................  DC Vol. 10.1
  or driveby ......................................     ODNW2
drive-by .............................................  ANW Vol. 72.3
drive-by beating .....................................  DC Vol. 8.4
drive-by birth  ANW Vol. 72.3
drive-by breast surgery         ANW Vol. 72.3
drive-by case   ODNW2
drive-by delivery       DC Vol. 10.1
        ANW Vol. 72.3
drive-by divorce        DC Vol. 10.1
drive-by documentary    ODNW2
drive-by egging         ODNW2
drive-by gunfire        ODNW2
drive-by journalism     ODNW2
drive-by killing        ODNW2
drive-by mastectomy     DC Vol. 10.1
        ANW Vol. 72.3
drive-by musical attack         ODNW2
drive-by pregnancies    ANW Vol. 72.3
drive-by punching       ODNW2
drive-by shirting       ANW Vol. 75.4
drive-by shooting       ODNW2
drive-by voice mail     ANW Vol. 75.4

>From the above you will see that the first dictionary treatment occurred
in The Longman Register of New Words (1989), in which the earliest date is

>From The Barnhart DICTIONARY COMPANION (Vol. 10.1, Summer 1997):

drive-by, adj. {M}  Also written driveby or drive by.  performed or done
quickly, especially without enough time to be thorough or attentive.  Also
DRIVE-THROUGH.   Nonstandard (used in slang contexts dealing especially
with economics; frequent)

drive-by delivery:  In the western U.S., it's already standard to allow
new moms and babies to stay 12 to 24 hours or less after birth, the
pediatricians' journal reports.  Among the concerns about "drive-by
deliveries" are the physiologic changes both new mothers and newborns
experience on the second and third days after birth.  Joan Beck,
"'Drive-by' deliveries can hurt babies," The Denver Post (Nexis), Oct. 31,
1995, p B-07

driveby divorce:  The myth that mothers are the only reliable caregivers
at divorce, and that fathers must be relegated to mere financial support
status, has created a driveby divorce system, which in turn is an
incubator for criminals.  David M. Dinn, "Gender bias in family courts,"
The Indianapolis Star (Nexis), Nov. 14, 1994, p A13

drive-by mastectomy:  Outpatient mastectomies-often called "drive-by"
mastectomies by critics-have become increasingly common in recent years as
hospitals have come under pressure to cut the length of hospital stays.
Michael Dresser, "Longer hospital stays sought: Cancer survivors urge
Senate to back extending breast surgery care," The Baltimore Sun (Nexis),
Jan. 31, 1997, p 1B

Semantic shift (specialization): from drive-by (shooting) (LRNW: n.d.;
ODNW: 1986).  This particular specialization in meaning may have been
influenced by the earlier drive-in (OEDs: 1930).

drive-through, adj. {M}  Also written drive through.  Another word for
DRIVE-BY.  Nonstandard (used in slang contexts dealing especially with
economics; frequent)

drive-through delivery:  Gov. Christine Todd Whitman came to Holy Name
Hospital today to sign a bill requiring insurers to pay for a second day
of hospital care for mothers and their newborns, making the state the
second in the nation to regulate what critics have called "drive-through
deliveries."  John Nordheimer, "New Mothers Gain 2nd Day of Care," The New
York Times, June 29, 1995, p B1

drive-through mastectomy:  On our report on so-called "drive-through
mastectomies," in which the argument was made that it's better for some
patients to leave the hospital immediately, well, it brought this message
from Evelyn Breck-Morgan of East Haddam, Connecticut.  "If I could afford
to fly anywhere in the world for the best treatment for breast cancer,
stay at a comfortable hotel, and had a husband who devoted himself to
being the perfect nurse, then perhaps I, too, would have been comfortable
with an outpatient mastectomy. . . ."  Robert Siegel, "Letters," All
Things Considered, NPR [National Public Radio] (Nexis), Jan. 9, 1997, 8:00

Semantic shift (specialization): from drive-through (BDNE3: 1969), as in
earlier drive-through banking, drive-through zoo, etc.

I hope this sheds some additional liight on the matter.

David K. Barnhart, Editor/Publisher
The Barnhart DICTIONARY COMPANION (quarterly)

barnhart at highlands.com

American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> writes:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at MST.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: "drive-by shooting"--- query from National Geographic
>              research editor
>Dear Robin Reid,
>    I'm forwarding your message to the American Dialect Society's
>Internetf discussion group, whose interests extend to all aspects of
>Englinsh.  At least several members are particularly knowledgeable about
>enarly attestations of terms and may be able to help you.
>   So, ads-l members, would any of you have information on the earliest
>at testation(s) of "drive-by shooting"?  If so, please respond both to
>Robtin Reid and ads-l. Thanx in advance.
>Best. --- Gerald Cohen
>gcohen at mst.edu
>From: Robin Reid [mailto:rstreid at comcast.net]
>Sent: Tue 4/1/2008 5:32 PM
>To: Cohen, Gerald Leonard
>Subject: query from National Geographic research editor
>Hello Gerald,
>My name is Robin Reid, and I'm a research editor for National
>Geographic magazine. I found you while searching for the origins of
>the phrase "drive-by shooting." I'm preparing a timeline to illustrate
>a story we're doing about the impact automobiles have had on society,
>and my art director wondered if we could pinpoint when the phrase
>entered the American lexicon.
>WordOrigins indicates it came about in 1996 along with other drive-
>bys, but it then referred me to the society's Web site, and drive-by
>shooting doesn't show up in 1996.
>Can you help me?
>Many thanks!
>Robin Reid
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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