[Ads-l] friends with benefits

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Wed Jan 6 09:17:25 EST 2021


This song is the earliest example in OED, albeit in a different sense, as OED points out: "In quots. 1995, 1996 in sense ‘a lover with whom one also has an emotionally close friendship’."

(They give the song a 1995 date, based on the published lyrics.)

The first quote in the defined sense 'a friend with whom one has an occasional and casual sexual relationship' is 1997, from the Usenet alt.polyamory newsgroup.

Jesse Sheidlower

On Wed, Jan 06, 2021 at 08:11:47AM -0500, dave at WILTON.NET wrote:
> Alanis Morrisette's song "Head Over Feet," which appeared on the 1996 album "Jagged Little Pill":
> 
> "You're the best listener that I've ever met
> You're my best friend
> Best friend with benefits
> What took me so long?"
> 
> I'm sure the phrase is older. This song is when I became aware of it.
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of Jonathan Lighter
> Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 7:21 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: [ADS-L] friends with benefits
> 
> 2001 Times-Picayune [New Orleans] (March 31) E-2:
> 
> “Dear Abby: …I am attracted to one of my college friends. …I asked him if he would like to be ‘friends with benefits.’ You know - friends who show affection and who comfort each other, with no strings attached…. Do you think I am setting myself up for a fall?”
> 
> The movie, “Friends with Benefits,” appeared in 2011.
> 
> JL
> 
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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