OED Appeals: Bellini

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 6 23:55:00 UTC 2012

Great find, Stephen!

Google Books has a match in an issue of Esquire with a GB date of
1955. Based on probes I think the match is probably in the December
1955 issue in an article titled "The Grand Canal: Tide of Elegance" by
Charlotte & Denis Plimmer. The article contains a very long list of
transactions that one can perform near the Grand Canal in Venice.
Included in this list is buying a Bellini.

Note that Harry's Bar is adjacent to the Grand Canal. I hypothesize
that the authors were talking about buying a Bellini at Harry's Bar. I
have only seen GB snippets of the Esquire issue. So this analysis
might be completely wrong, and the match might be in some other issue
of the magazine. But this might be a useful lead for the OED editors.

[Begin excerpt]
Because the Grand Canal is, quite genuinely, Venice's Main Street, you
can transact the same kinds of business here that you can along any
Main Street anywhere. You can get your suit pressed, ...

... consult a lawyer, get arrested, buy a kilo of baby octopus, a hunk
of salami, a bunch of roses, a Bellini or a nickel post card. You can
rent a room and bath in a Renaissance palazzo, visit an American
millionairess who owns the finest private
[End excerpt]

I can try to verify this on Sunday. Of course, the action of buying a
Bellini is ambiguous. Vincenzo Bellini  was an opera composer, and
Giovanni Bellini was a painter. But I do not think that purchasing a
musical score or painting makes sense here.


On Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 8:00 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:
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> Poster:       Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: OED Appeals: Bellini
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> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Jesse Sheidlower [jester at PANIX.COM]
> Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2012 7:59 AM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] OED Appeals: Bellini
> On Thu, Oct 04, 2012 at 11:56:05AM +0000, Stephen Goranson wrote:
>> Requested noun (cocktail) earlier than 1965.
>> Venice Observed, Mary McCarthy (1956) page 19 col. 1 (confirmed on paper):
>> Harry's Bar has a drink called a Tiziano, made of grapefruit juice and champagne and colored pink with grenadine or bitters. "You ought to have a Tintoretto," someone remonstrated, and the proprietor regretted that he had not yet invented that drink, but he had a Bellini and a Giorgione.
> Thanks!
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> Jesse Sheidlower
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