reveal, n.

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 10 00:59:49 UTC 2011

Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>> English archaeologist on a National Geographic Channel show about the
>> recently uncovered Anglo-Saxon gold hoard:
>> "When you're working on [cleaning] an object, it's amazing when you
>> get the reveal."
>> I.e., "the first clear sight of something that is being
>> microscopically cleaned of debris."

Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> section 2 of:

I have heard and read the term "the reveal" associated with stagecraft
and magic. The archaeologist may be suggesting that the new view of
the cleaned object is extraordinary and has a magic quality.

Below is a GB example that is probably from 1964 from the world of
public relations.

The Reporter: Volume 31
Max Ascoli - 1964
(Date probes show that this volume contains a September 24, 1964
issue. The GB date is probably close.)
[Being excerpt]
At the climax, scenery and singers melted away and there — swathed in
lights on a revolving stage — stood the 1964 Oldsmobile. The magic
moment, as essential to auto shows as horses are to Westerns, is known
in the trade as the "reveal." Properly done, it can make even the most
cynical pedestrian weep.
[End excerpt]

Magicians use the term "the reveal" when describing tricks or
illusions I think. Maybe Bill Mullins knows more about this use.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list