An Early "Supermodel"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Mar 5 05:28:37 UTC 2008

On Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 11:41 PM, Baker, John <JMB at> wrote:
> Although the collocation "super model" had been used earlier, currently
> the earliest known use of "supermodel" in the modern sense is in the
> 5/19/1967 issue of the Salisbury (Md.) Daily Times, in reference to
> Twiggy, see
> However, the term was also used, again in reference to
> Twiggy, in the June 1967 issue of Playboy:
> "Twiggy, London supermodel and an international celebrity at 17,
> oversees lunch date Shel [Silverstein] sketching away at Alvaro's, mecca
> for rich young Britons."
> Reprinted in Shel Silverstein, Playboy's Silverstein Around the World
> 156 (2007).  The magazine would have hit newstands in early May, so this
> actually predates the Salisbury Daily Times cite.  It seems to support
> the view that Twiggy actually was the first model widely known as a
> "supermodel."

Earlier than either:

1967 _N.Y. Times_ 21 Mar. 47/4 Twiggy's favorite answer is "I dunno,"
which seemed as good an answer as any to such press conference
questions as, "What's it like being a super-model?"

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list