[Ads-l] hot mike/mic

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 25 13:55:46 EST 2022

I'm researching "hot mike/mic" for an upcoming Wall St. Journal column.
OED3 includes a cite for "hot mike" from 1937 in its entry for "hot" (sense
9h: "electrically connected or charged; turned on; live"). So far I've
antedated that to 1930:

Broadcast Advertising, Apr. 1930, p. 16, col. 2
Broadcasting has its own language, a few words of which are quoted here
from the glossary that is running serially in the "Voice of Columbia."
"Hot mike" -- A microphone in operation.
Bangor (Me.) Daily News, Feb. 10, 1931, p. 9, col. 7
A glossary listing words and phrases peculiar to radio engineering has been
compiled by Engineer Irving Reis -- the Dr. Vizetelly of the Columbia
Broadcasting System’s technical staff. [...]
Hot Mike -- Microphone with current applied. A "dead mike” is one that is
shut off.

Can anyone find anything earlier? An Internet Archive search suggests it
may be in the Oct.  1929 issue of National Radio News, but that item is
currently unavailable:


I don't see "hot mike" skimming through the PDF for that issue here:



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