Hitch your wagon to a star; some "pastrami"

Jim Rader jrader at M-W.COM
Tue Jun 29 11:24:24 UTC 1999

Merriam actually has two cites for <pastrami> from 1936.  One is
from the Springfield (Mass.) Evening Union, Nov. 17, in a column "New
York Day by Day" by O.O. McIntyre (I don't know if this was
syndicated or unique to the Union):

Few celebrities of the New York parade have so completely withdrawn
from the spotlight as Alexander Woollcott.  Conspicuous for years as
a dramatic critic, quondam actor and streak in the Algonquin's
literary pastrami, he is now seen but seldom.

There is also a note by Ed Artin (Merriam's longtime pronunciation
editor) dated Nov. 23, 1936, that is in effect a "field recording":
_pastrami_. Not in Web. even in its literal sense; and it is often
used in an extended sense. Yesterday over the radio the comedian (?)
Walter O'Keefe referred to the song "My Darling Clementine" as "a
piece of pastrami."

Jim Rader

> On Sun, 27 Jun 1999 Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
> >
> >     David Shulman told me today that he found a "pastromi" citation from
> > 1927.  As everyone knows, "pastrami" is our greatest etymological mystery
> > since the Reuben sandwich and the Caesar salad.
> Barry and Jim Rader,
> Barry, would you be able to post the details of Dave Shulman's 1927
> citation?  Also, I notice that MW10 gives a 1936 dating for _pastrami_?
> Jim, would you be able to post the exact 1936 citation on ADS-L?  Thanks
> to both of you for any help you are able to give with these requests.
> Fred R. Shapiro

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