"my first rodeo"

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 23 12:05:02 UTC 2011

Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
> I know that the OED isn't usually ahead of the game on these types of
> phrases, but I do feel like I should mention that a year ago I put the
> phrase _not one's first time at the rodeo_ (and variants) into OED,
> sense 3.c. The first example I could find was from the film _Mommy
> Dearest_, from 1981.

Wonderful citation Jesse. I'm sorry I missed it in the OED. The cite
gives the film title as "Mommy Dearest", but IMDB, Wikipedia, and
various movie posters list the title as "Mommie Dearest". Here is a
youtube clip of the line delivered by a scenery-chewing Faye Dunaway.

In 1979 a radio DJ referred to an episode of his show as a "rodeo" and
said it was "not my first time to work a rodeo". This may be unrelated
to the sense intended by the "Mommie Dearest" screenplay line.

Cite: 1979 May 08, Dallas Morning News, Image changes in the works,
Page 15A, Column 1, Dallas, Texas. (GenealogyBank)

There were a few bloops, one bleeped caller and a few camera shots of
the wrong person, but otherwise the first broadcast Monday of
"radiovision," a simulcast of KVIL radio's Ron Chapman on Channel 39,
was a rollicking good time.

"This is not my first time to work a rodeo," Chapman joked about the
bobbled shenanigans in the tiny radio control room. "But it is the
first time I've ever followed a prayer call."

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

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