"hard core" (OED 1936)

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Fri Oct 4 03:53:34 UTC 2013

In this by-subscription column for Visual Thesaurus, I trace the history
of "hardcore" as the source of the libfix "core" and the analogy-formed
"softcore" and "midcore," and its development into an adjective with
three sets of comparative/superlative forms: "more/most hardcore",
"hardcorer/est", "harder/est core". OED's earliest citation has it as a
nominal phrase in 1936: "the hard core of the unemployed"; I have an
earlier example from 1930:


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

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