"jukebox" and "nickelodeon"

jester at PANIX.COM jester at PANIX.COM
Fri Jun 30 16:29:07 UTC 2000

> --but the OED makes it clear that the 'jukebox' sense of "nickelodeon" was
> a transfer from the original, and it's that original that underlies the
> network's appropriation.  But note that this transferred use of
> 'nickelodeon' evidently slightly predated the appearance (in attested
> print) of 'juke box' itself.  And the role of Florida jook houses is
> reinforced by that '38 cite.
> 1. A theatre or motion-picture show for which the admission fee is a
> nickel; a place containing automatic machines to provide amusement, which
> can be used
> for a nickel. Also attrib.
>        1921 Ladies' Home Jrnl. June 79/1 It is this class which first
> patronized the old nickelodeon, and undoubtedly it imposed its tastes and
> its traditions
>        on the picture makers.

Before Barry jumps in, let me say that when the N batch gets published
in a year or two, it will have antedated this word to 1888.

> 2. A `jukebox'; a machine that automatically plays selected gramophone
> records on the insertion of a coin. Also attrib.
>        1938 Florida Review Spring 25/1 The requisites of a place entitling
> it to the name jook are..presence of the nickelodeon, and..of the
> dance-floor.

However, this is still our earliest for sense 2, at least as far as I
can tell.


Jesse Sheidlower

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