[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:

---
https://worldradiohistory.com/Archive-Broadcast-Advertising/Broadcast-Advertising-1930-04.pdf
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.
---
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/93427038/hot-mike/
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:

https://archive.org/search.php?query=%22hot+mike%22&sin=TXT&and[]=year%3A%221929%22
https://archive.org/details/NRNV02N03Oct29/NRN_V02_N03_Oct29

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

https://worldradiohistory.com/Archive-National-Radio-News/NRN-1929-10.pdf

--bgz

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