[Ads-l] greatest thing since sliced bread (1951)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 3 15:25:08 EDT 2017

OED's entry for "bread" hasn't been updated for a while. The earliest
example given for "the best (or greatest, etc.) thing since sliced
bread" is from 1969. Here it is from 1951:

News-Journal (Mansfield, Ohio), Mar. 10, 1951, p. 3, col. 7
Dorothy Kilgallen, "The Voice of Broadway" (syndicated column)
"He is the greatest thing since sliced bread," she says of Mr. Granger.
[Kilgallen quoting her sister about Farley Granger in "King Solomon's Mines"]

(There are more literal examples from the '30s and '40s for phrases
like "the newest thing since sliced bread" appearing in advertisements
for baked goods.)


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

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