Japanese fire drill

Patti J. Kurtz kurtpatt4 at NETSCAPE.NET
Fri Sep 19 17:42:30 UTC 2003

sclements at NEO.RR.COM wrote:

>It almost certainly was "Chinese fire drill" in most of the US.  If you
>called it "Japanese fire drill" it might be related to where you lived.
>Using "Chinese" as a derogatory adjective goes back to the late 1800's.  The
>actual term "Chinese fire drill" is cited in RHDAS in 1952, but implied in a
>1942-5 cite.
>I called it that in 1961, when we would get out at a light and run around
>the car.
I hadn't thought about region affecting the name-- I grew up in
Pittsburgh and that's what we called it-- but I wonder how being from
Pittsburgh would have transformed it from 'Chinese" to "Japanese."



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