[Ads-l] Antedating "star" for stage celebrity?

Stuttgart svaihingen at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 9 19:23:03 UTC 2015

I believe OED and M-W online list earliest use as 1824 and 1821, respectively.  It was a word associated with the stage as early as 1809.

In a biographical sketch of an popular tenor named John Braham, dated October 1809:

"Behind the curtain, things are pretty much in statu quo, with the exception of Braham and Mountain [(Mrs. Mountain, another popular singer)], Stars, to use the stage phrase that shine brightly in the theatrical heavens. . . ." (Italics in original).

Walker's Hibernian Magazine, or Compendium of Entertaining Knowledge (Dublin), For September, 1809, page 549.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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