Shapiro, Fred Fred.Shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Feb 13 01:51:58 UTC 2008

Thanks, Ben.  Here's slightly earlier:

1981 _Wash. Post_ 8 Nov. A15/5 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)  Barbara Fife, a reform Democrat from New York, said, "I'm opposed to having these super-status, super-delegates come in and pick our nominee."

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Benjamin Zimmer [bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU]
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 8:24 PM
Subject: Re: "Superdelegate"

On Feb 12, 2008 7:39 PM, Shapiro, Fred <Fred.Shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> "Superdelegate," although not new, is emerging into newfound prominence.  The earliest occurrence on
> Nexis is the following:
> 1983 _N.Y. Times_ 22 Dec. (Nexis)  Even so, the party's only black Presidential candidate, the Rev.
> Jesse Jackson, is expected to include this class of ''superdelegates'' in a challenge to delegate selection
> rules.

There's a column by George McGovern in the May 15, 1982 issue of _The
Nation_ that discusses "super delegates". I don't have a subscription
to the magazine's archive, but the snippets available on Google News
Archive show "super delegates" appearing at least three times in the

1982 George McGovern _Nation_ 15 May (online) Two thirds of them --
approximately 550 -- will be "super delegates" uncommitted to any

--Ben Zimmer

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

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

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