"a billion here, a billion there" (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Fri Sep 12 20:52:12 UTC 2008

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Well, that's the story.  Fred Shapiro covers it in the NYT 21 July 2008.

"We are similarly certain that Everett Dirksen coined "A billion here, a
billion there, pretty soon it begins to add up to real money." Yet the
Dirksen Congressional Center, scouring the Illinois senator's audiotapes
and transcripts, news clippings and speech notes, has found no concrete
evidence of his uttering these words, only uncorroborated attributions
after his death in 1969. On the other hand, a historical database search
of The New York Times yields a Jan. 10, 1938, Topics of the Times column
with the lines: "Well, now, about this new budget. It's a billion here
and a billion there, and by and by it begins to mount up into money." No
mention of Dirksen. "

I submitted the cite as a semi-antedating.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society
> [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of sagehen
> Sent: Friday, September 12, 2008 3:42 PM
> Subject: Re: "a billion here, a billion there" (UNCLASSIFIED)
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "a billion here, a billion there" (UNCLASSIFIED)
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> -----------------
> on 9/12/08 12:49 PM, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC at
> Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL wrote:
> > Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
> > Caveats: NONE
> >
> > "Trillion On Deck"
> > Date: 1917-06-23; Paper: Idaho Statesman, published as: The Idaho
> > Daily Statesman p 4 col 1 "Congress never appropriates less than a
> > thousand of them [millions] for any military activity, a
> billion here,
> > a billion there until billions are getting common."
> ~~~~~~~~~
> Was it Everett Dirksen (sp?) who said "...a Million here, a
> Million there:
> pretty soon you're (we're) talking big money."?
> AM
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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