[Ads-l] Antedating of "Ham" (Radio)

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 31 16:16:03 EDT 2016


How do you distinguish ham=bad telegraphist, which goes back to 19th C.
from ham=amateur wireless radio operator?

On Jul 31, 2016 2:09 PM, "ADSGarson O'Toole" <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
wrote:

The Wikipedia article "Etymology of ham radio" also mentioned a
citation in April 1909 for "ham" that seemed to match the desired
sense of: "An amateur telegraphist; now esp. an amateur radio
operator."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymology_of_ham_radio

Here are the details (please double-check for errors):

Date: April 1909
Periodical: Electrician and Mechanic
Volume 19, Number 10
Article: Wireless Interference
Author: Robert A. Morton
Start Page 422, Quote Page 424, Column 1 and 2
Database: HathiTrust Full View

http://hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.hxhis4
http://hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.hxhis4?urlappend=%3Bseq=636

[Begin excerpt]
"How do you get me to-day? I am using my new transformer and my helix
is hitched up different.
. . .
Say, do  you know the fellow who is putting up a new station out your
way? I think he is a ham. Will call you up in ten minutes. Say, old
man, must go to supper now, but will be on the rest of the night. O K,
O K, will see you later."
[End excerpt]

The passage was repeated in a later article by Morton.

Date: January 15, 1910
Periodical: The Outlook: A Weekly Newspaper
Editor-in-Chief: Lyman Abbott
Article: The Amateur Wireless Operator
Author: Robert A. Morton
Publisher: The Outlook Company, New York
Start Page 131, Quote Page 133, Column 1
Database: Google Books Full View

https://books.google.com/books?id=l5tFAQAAMAAJ&q=%22is+a+ham%22#v=snippet&

[Begin excerpt]
"How do you get me to-day? I am using my new transformer and my helix
is hitched up different.
. . .
Say, do  you know the fellow who is putting up a new station out your
way? I think he is a ham. Will call you up in ten minutes. Say, old
man, must go to supper now, but will be on the rest of the night.
O.K., O.K., will see you later."
[End excerpt]

Garson


On Sat, Jul 30, 2016 at 8:50 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>
wrote:
> The OED first use of the radio sense of "ham" (ham, n.1 4.) is dated
1919.  According to Wikipedia, this term was used in an article titled
"Floods and Wireless" by Hanby Carver, published in the August 1915 issue
of Technical World Magazine.
>
>
> Fred Shapiro
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list