"Gray Thursday" (Thanksgiving Day as shopping day)

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 21 19:57:02 UTC 2012

I'm not sure whether "Gray Thursday" will ever stick as a designation
for Thanksgiving Day as a shopping (holi)day, but it's been with us
since at least 2007.  Of course, it joins "Black Friday," "Small
Business Saturday," and "Cyber Monday" in summing up the spirit of the
holiday weekend for some Americans.  (I could have sworn that this
morning I heard an alternate name for "Gray Thursday," but it has
escaped me now.)


Stores open for Thanksgiving did a brisk business yesterday from folks
looking to shrink their wallets instead of expanding their waistlines.
 Thanksgiving Day is fast becoming known as Gray Thursday among
retailers because of the number of shops open for the holiday, which
precedes Black Friday.  This was especially true in New York, which
was bulging at the seams with an influx of tourists.  "I think it is
going to be more calm today. Tomorrow is going to be more crazy," said
Georgina Tibis, 32, a tourist from Argentina buying shirts at the Gap
on Fifth Avenue.

[From Erin Calabrese & Chuck Bennett, "Gray Thursday Creates an 'Open'
Market," *The New York Post*, 23 November 2007, p. 7.]


'Gray Thursday'?  Some Retailers Just Won't Wait till Black Friday  [Headline]

[From Adam Nichols, *New York Daily News*, 22 November 2007, p. 4.]


By the way, I know several of you (most notably John Baker and Barry
Popik) have also been interested in the origins of "Black Friday."  I
was pleased to see that *Business Week*, relying on Ben Zimmer's
excellent review last year of then-available "Black Friday" data, has
now joined others in accepting the term's true origins, even going as
far as explaining how retailers and PR folks worked to spin "Black
Friday" into something positive.


With that, I think our work is done.

-- Bonnie

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

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