"movie" compounds

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Wed Dec 29 08:56:33 UTC 2004

On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 00:00:49 -0500, I wrote:

>movie picture (OED3 1916)
>1909 _(Elyria, Ohio) Evening Telegram_ 1 April 1/6 Fourteen Elyria stage
>hands have formed a union to be affliated with the Theatrical Stage
>Employees and Movie Picture Operators Union [sic].
>1911 _Colorado Springs Gazette_ 16 May 37/2 Huerta wept when he saw a
>movie picture of Villa capturing Torreon.
>[page number as reported by Newspaperarchive - illegible on page image]

I've already corrected the date of the first cite (1919, not 1909).  I see
now that the second cite is yet another Newspaperarchive misdating -- it's
from 1914, not 1911.  (The date at the top of the page is illegible, but
"1914" is clearly visible elsewhere on the page.)  The dating of the
Colorado Springs Gazette is extremely unreliable on N-archive.

In any case, I believe that this leaves Fred Shapiro's find from
Ancestry.com as the only cite for "movie(s)" found thus far from the first
half of 1911:

   1911 _Bucks County Gazette_ 24 Mar. 1 The Saturday evening pictures
   are as usual "movies."

(If I'm not mistaken this is currently the earliest known cite, since as
Fred and others have discussed in the past the 1902 OED/HDAS cite is

Starting in August '11, cites for "movie(s)" are easier to find on the
databases.  Here are the next two cites that I'm aware of:

   1911 _Washington Post_ 1 Aug. 6/7 [from the Philadelphia Inquirer]
   The time is not far distant, apparently, when the first nighter at
   the "movies," instead of jubilating over the way the tramp captured
   the Indians will be remarking, learnedly ... "I learned how to bake
   stuffed tomatoes at the 'movies' last night."

   1911 _Warren (Pennsylvania) Evening Mirror_ 18 Aug. 3/2 The Johnstown
   Flood will be shown tomorrow, Saturday, at the Bijou theatre by two
   reels of movies and an illustrated lecture.

On Newspaperarchive, I've verified a dozen articles containing "movie(s)"
over the remainder of 1911 (2 in September, 3 in October, 4 in November,
and 3 in December).

-- Ben Zimmer

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