"steal (someone's) thunder", 1858; OED 1900--

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 5 19:16:58 UTC 2013

Joel: Thanks for mentioning this fun phrase and posting a great
example of its figurative use in 1858. Here is another example that is
a bit earlier of the figurative  "steal (someone's) thunder", i.e.,
"steal our thunder":

[ref] 1843 July 21, Commercial Advertiser, Change of Note, Quote Page
2, Column 4, New York, New York. (GenealogyBank)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
CHANGE OF NOTE.—After rebuking the Commercial for applying the term
"haughty," to Mr. Calhoun, although it was done in no invidious sense,
we find that the Express has adopted the same phraseology. Don't steal
our thunder, it you please.
[End excerpt]


On Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 12:09 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      "steal (someone's) thunder", 1858; OED 1900--
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> " ... nothing strongly marked or ludicrous
> escaped her. She would constantly tell me of
> these things, and add: 'Now, I shall use that
> some day; so don't steal my thunder.' "
> Godey's Lady's Book, vol. 56 (1858), p. 346, col.
> 2.  By Alice B. [Neal] Haven, "Personal
> Reminiscences of Miss Eliza Leslie."  GBooks, full view.
> Antedates OED2 "thunder, n." 3.d., 1900--.
> Since, as the etymology of the OED says, this is
> "Derived from the utterance of John Dennis
> (1657–1734)", one might expect to find something
> between him and 1858.  I didn't in GBooks.
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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