Still Further Antedating of "Yellow Journalism"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 2 14:19:00 UTC 2014

Am surprised that OED still endorses derivation from "The Yellow Kid."

Years and years ago, I read somewhere that the phrase arose in reference to
some kind of publicity stunt sponsored by the Hearst papers in the '90s. Of
course I made no note of it, but ISTR that it involved something like a
coast-to-coast bike race whose participants wore bright yellow outfits so
they could easily be recognized by the public. The papers then gave daily
updates on the race.

Maybe I read it one of Jerry's valuable Comments on Etymology.  But true or
false, it was long, long ago.


On Sun, Feb 2, 2014 at 8:20 AM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Still Further Antedating of "Yellow Journalism"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> yellow journalism (OED 1898, also OED has sense 3. of yellow, adj. dated
> 18=
> 98)
> 1893 _Puck_ 7 Dec. 7 (American Periodical Series)  Yellow journalism is a
> m=
> oral offense, but who are the offenders?  Not the newspaper proprietors,
> wh=
> o make the most of that full liberty which reputable as well as
> disreputabl=
> e papers must have in a free country, but the people who buy their output.
> NOTE:  This citation undercuts OED's derivation of "yellow journalism"
> from=
>  a comic strip originating in 1895.
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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