nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Wed Aug 28 23:02:28 UTC 2013
OED doesn't have the trendy, non-hotel meaning of noun-modifying "concierge" meaning "providing expensive personal service". I've written a (paywalled) column here:
From the 1980s part:
But even as the idea of a hotel concierge was spreading during the Me Decade, it was already escaping the confines of hotel lobbies. In 1980, a Boston Globe article reported that the Pittsburgh Hyatt had invented a concierge floor, which modern hotel guests will recognize as that one floor that the elevator won't take you to unless you insert your special VIP card into the slot by the button. Mid-decade, the concept of the concierge broke free of hotels entirely, as office concierges made their appearance. In 1986, a company calling itself The Executive Concierge liberated concierges entirely from buildings. As a 1987 article described it, the company:
will do just about anything to help those who don't have the time to help themselves. The company's services range from basic personal chores such as grocery shopping, gift shopping, and housecleaning to organizing events of all sizes, including wedding receptions.
The earliest attestation I found of "concierge" for a hotel was from 1955, but Nancy Friedman came along and commented with a 1953 Time magazine article about Art Buchwald that mentions concierges. It's behind a paywall, too...
Another commenter had a funny French perspective:
My French relatives in the snobby part of Paris consider the concierge of their patrician appartment block to be an essential person to have around (taker-in of mail and deliveries, cleaner of stairs, supervisor of trashcan emptying, cat and dog carer when one is away, source of local information and gossip) but also one of very lowly status. They would burst out laughing at the use of "concierge" in "concierge medical services", as medical doctors are scores of rungs up the social ladder above a concierge and would hate to be associated with what they consider to be menial jobs.
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