Antedating of "Clobber"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Dec 9 13:47:08 UTC 2006

On Sat, 9 Dec 2006, Stephen Goranson wrote:

> OED 18 Nov 1944 Origin unknown; HDAS 1944 orig. unkn.
> 19 July 1944 Times
> received fearful punishment. Operation Clobber--to "clobber" a target
> is one of
> the newest verbs in air force language--will long be remembered.

1942 _Wash. Post_ 28 Oct. 16 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)  The
Messerschmitt-109 was squarely in the Spitfire's gun sights and Pilot Jack
Curry, Dallas, Tex., turned loose a fairly short burst. ... "We got that
junkers one day when we were out to 'clobber' an Axis supply train," he
said.  "Three of us were cruising along when we sighted the transport
plane.  All three of us got squirts at him and he went down in flames."

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS
   Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press
Yale Law School                             ISBN 0300107986
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