Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jun 26 00:32:51 UTC 2000

At 2:03 PM -0400 6/25/00, Fred Shapiro wrote:
>On Sun, 25 Jun 2000, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> Just came across the below item in the current (24 Jun 00) issue of Michael
>> Quinion's weekly "World Wide Words" e-column.  I find the story (based on
>> the OED version:  s.v. JUKE, 2) plausible enough, but the first cite (in
>> Time magazine) seems quite unlikely; the
>> first-cite-in-national-newsweeklies always seems to dissolve on closer
>> inspection. Anyone (Fred?  Barry?  Jerry?) have an earlier 'juke-box' cite
>I don't know why a first citation in Time should seem so improbable to
>Larry and Michael.  Time was renowned for its word-coinages in the 1920s
>and 1930s, and probably introduced to mainstream usage many words coined
I don't want to attribute a finding of unlikelihood to Michael Quinion, who
expressed some surprise but no paticular skepticism about Time representing
the first cite for "juke box".  From the context of the '37 cite, it struck
me as more plausible that Time was picking up on a usage already extant for
some time (at least a couple of years) in the jook joints of the demimonde
before it would have crossed the paths of the Glenn Millers and national
newsweeklies.  I could be wrong in this intuition, of course.  And there's
a difference between locating a first cite and locating a first
introduction-to-mainstream-usage; I'm quite willing to believe that Time
was responsible for the latter.


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