[Ads-l] Slight Antedating of "Miniskirt"

Sun May 27 14:50:41 EDT 2018

The earliest example of "miniskirt" in the OED is from the Billings Gazette, Aug. 6, 1962, in a humorous article by John Abney, a wire service reporter stationed in Mexico City.  I have found the same article in two other newspapers, and one of them was earlier than the Billings Gazette.

The article was printed in the Brownsville (Tex.) Herald on July 29, 1962, under the title "The Most And Least For Skirts" (NewspaperArchive).  It was also printed in the (McAllen, Tex.) Monitor on Aug. 15, 1962, under the title "Lightest Mexico" (Newspapers.com).  Like other early sources, these use the spelling "mini-skirt."

As I mentioned in 2014, it seems likely to me that "mini-skirt" was originally a calque from Spanish "minifalda," rather than being, as one would expect and as the OED indicates, formed within English by compounding.

John Baker

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

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