[Ads-l] "Gaslight" as a verb only five decades old

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 11 10:49:37 EST 2017

Jon: The earliest HDAS cite is from 1956, quoting an unnamed NYC woman, age
41. There's nothing about "I Love Lucy," and I've never heard anything
about the show spreading the word. Do you have more information on this you
can share?


On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 11:11 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> Check HDAS, with earlier cite from "I Love Lucy" - which probably
> popularized the verb through infinite reruns.
> JL
> On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 10:28 AM, Yagoda, Ben <byagoda at udel.edu> wrote:
> > George Cukor’s 1944 film was in turn based on a 1938 play by Patrick
> > Hamilton. The OED’s first citation for “gaslight” as a  verb is a
> sentence
> > from a 1965 article in “The Reporter”: "Some troubled persons having even
> > gone so far as to charge malicious intent and premeditated
> ‘gaslighting.’”
> >

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

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