"hot dog" in Salt Lake City (1895- )

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Sep 14 18:34:07 UTC 2010

Some cites of potential interest from Salt Lake City papers in the
Chronicling America database. The first one, from 1895, doesn't quite
fit any current OED sense -- it appears to be a noun version of the
sense "of outstanding quality or merit." The ones from 1896 and 1897
match the more typical adjectival sense (first OED cite is from Jan.
1896, in the Univ. of Michigan magazine _Inlander_). Interesting to
see that the term was so closely tied to one public figure: George
Pepper Norris (a Washington, D.C. lawyer, originally from
Philadelphia, who settled in SLC c.1895 and had aspirations to the
Utah Senate seat eventually filled by Frank J. Cannon).

1895 _Deseret Evening News_  10 Apr. 6 (advt.) The "Yellow Fellows"
are the -- to use a street expression, "Hot Dogs" this year. Every
where you hear the statement, "Yes, the Stearns Bicycles are the
1896 _Salt Lake Herald_ 9 Jan. 6/5 Picking up a copy of the Ogden
Standard, copies of which had but just been placed on the desks
containing strong editorials against Frank J. Cannon and Judge
Goodwin, he said: "I imagine in the language of Colonel Pepper Norris
that this is considered 'hot dog,' and suggest that it be added to the
1896 _Salt Lake Herald_ 31 Oct. 8/2 Gus Holmes has written a letter; a
confidential and sincerely yours letter. In the language of the late
George Pepper Norris, it is "hot dog."
1897 _Salt Lake Herald_ 11 Feb. 2/1 Mrs Bradley-Martin is no doubt
delighted at her costly amusement for, it was what the lamented George
Pepper would have designated as "hot dog."


Ben Zimmer

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

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