Instances of unmodified hair-day

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Feb 12 00:14:27 UTC 2000

On Fri, 11 Feb 2000, David Bowie wrote:

> I ask again--which is attested first: '[unmodified] hair day' or 'bad/good
> hair day'?

'Bad/good hair day' is attested first.  Indeed '[unmodified] hair day' is
rare.  This does not prove, however, that the 'bad-hair' proponents are
correct.  Consider the following early citations:

1990 _Back Stage_ 9 Feb.  A couple of the women discuss whether or not
they're having a good "hair day."

1991 Jane Pauley in _Redbook_ Sept.  I can have a bad 'hair day,' and
people will just say, 'There's Jane being herself.'

1991 _Inside Media_ 20 Nov.  "We were both having a really great hair

There seems to be a strong case, based on the evidence, for the 'hair-day'

Fred R. Shapiro                             Coeditor (with Jane Garry)
Associate Librarian for Public Services     TRIAL AND ERROR: AN OXFORD
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            ANTHOLOGY OF LEGAL STORIES
Yale Law School                             Oxford University Press, 1998
e-mail: fred.shapiro at               ISBN 0-19-509547-2

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