[Ads-l] hot mike/mic

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 25 15:03:54 EST 2022

Nice challenge, Ben. Great work, Jesse.

A glossary of radio terms appeared in a newspaper on February 17,
1930. Consider the following item:

[Begin excerpt[
Hot (or live)—A microphone in operation or in readiness to pick up sound.
[End excerpt]

The item does not contain "hot mike", "hot mic", or "hot microphone",
but I would consider it a near match for "hot microphone".

Here is a longer excerpt. The glossary may have appeared earlier. So
an indirect strategy would search for one of the other terms in the
Please double check for errors.

Date: February 17, 1930
Newspaper: The Scranton Republican
Newspaper Location: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Article: Please Stand By
Author: R.J.A.
Quote Page 9, Column 7
Database: Newspapers.com


[Begin excerpt]
Here's a few:
Nemo—A program originating elsewhere than in the studios of the key station.

Hot (or live)—A microphone in operation or in readiness to pick up sound.

Soup—Amount of current in the antenna.

Stand By!—Warning to get ready for program about to go on the air.

Squawker—A singer—good or bad, high or low.

Noise—The "pop" man responsible for sound effects and all audible
stage settings.
[End excerpt]


On Tue, Jan 25, 2022 at 1:56 PM Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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