"There Ain't No Such Thing as Free Lunch" (1938)

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Mar 2 17:57:34 UTC 2009

After many years of trying to definitively push back the expression "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" to the 1930s, I finally succeeded through Newspaperarchive searching.  In my quotation column in the March/April 2009 Yale Alumni Magazine, I report that an article titled "Economics in Eight Words" in the El Paso Herald-Post, June 27, 1938, p. 4, used "There ain't no such thing as free lunch" as the punch line of an economics joke.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                                      Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and        YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press
Yale Law School                                     ISBN 0300107986
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu

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