clunker, junker (1936)

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue May 12 18:31:14 UTC 2009

1934  John Edwin Hogg, "The Bogey of War in the Air," _Forum and Century_ 92 (Dec.): 345:  "The modern five-inch anti-aircraft gun handling high-explosive shells bears about as much resemblance to its World War prototype as a 1935 motor car compared with the unreliable old 'klunker' of 1900."

May we assume that well before the end of 1934 (as is the practice today) the next year's automobile models were already being sold?

Mencken (in supplement 2, p. 725) also spelled the word "klunker."


---- Original message ----
>Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 01:22:30 -0400
>From: Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
>>My latest Word Routes column is on automotive "clunkers" and "junkers":
>I mention this antedating for both "clunker" (HDAS 1942) and "junker" (HDAS 1948):
>1936 Walter Winchell ("On Broadway" syndicated column) _Wisconsin State Journal_ 23 Apr. 4/7 Regarding the word "jollopy" which a Mirror editorial writer recently wondered about. He said: "What's it really mean?" A Detroit man says jollopy means an old car, junkers, old hacks, rattlers, clunkers. They are the headaches of the auto dealer.
>--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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