[Ads-l] Barry Popik's recent research on "Black Friday" origins

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 20 20:34:11 EST 2017


> "Black Friday" may have sometimes been used to refer
> to having to work on any day after a Thursday holiday.

Reminiscent of "Blue Monday."


On Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 5:04 PM, Bonnie Taylor-Blake <
b.taylorblake at gmail.com> wrote:

> Barry has recently updated his page on the origins of "Black Friday," that
> post-Thanksgiving shopping day.
>
> https://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/
> black_friday_big_friday/
>
> He notes that this is an "entry in progress," so perhaps we'll see further
> updates before Friday.
>
> Importantly, Barry has discovered the so-far earliest usage of "Black
> Friday" with specific reference to the shopping day after Thanksgiving. It
> appeared in the 28 November 1960 issue of *Women’s Wear Daily*, with the
> phrase applied specifically to activities in Philadelphia.
>
> Moreover, he's found instances of "[b/B]ig Friday" that predate this
> appearance of "Black Friday." (As you may recall, it's said that
> Philadelphia merchants and a city representative felt "Black Friday" too
> negative and subsequently made a push to rename the day "Big Friday." It
> didn't seem to take.)
>
> Something else that Barry notes is that the earliest known usage of "Black
> Friday" with reference to the day after Thanksgiving (and not to shopping
> on the day after Thanksgiving) appeared in November 1951.  There it's
> linked to worker absenteeism after Thanksgiving.
>
> For me making a solid link between the 1951 usage and Philadelphia's
> shopping "Black Friday" (ca. 1960) has been difficult, but earlier I
> wondered aloud whether "Black Friday" may have sometimes been used to refer
> to having to work on any day after a Thursday holiday. See
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2016-August/143625.html.
>
> Happy Thanksgiving to all.
>
> -- Bonnie
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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