"Putting on the ritz" (1921)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun May 7 01:57:36 UTC 2006

I'm thinking of adding "putting on the ritz" to either my NYC song section  
or my hotel section. What do the OED revision and the next HDAS have? "Putting  
on the ritz" is American, but what Ritz hotel is referred to?
Ritz, n. (a.)
[The name of the Swiss-born hotelier César Ritz (1850-1918), given  to his 
luxury hotels in Paris, London, New York, and elsewhere.]   
a. Used allusively of a large and luxurious hotel, esp. in  negative phrases. 
Also attrib. and as adj.  
1910  _R. FRY_ (http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-f2.html#r-fry)   
Lett. (1972) I.  336, I will not pretend that my cuisine rivals the Ritz. 1922  
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-f.html#f-scott-fitzgerald)   (title) The diamond as big as the Ritz. 1926  _E. HEMINGWAY_ 
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-h2.html#e-hemingway)  Sun also Rises xix. 
238 We drove  in to Biarritz and left the car outside a very Ritz place. 1928 
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-m2.html#w-s-maugham)  Ashenden vi. 93 They came to a  tavern in a blind alley, noisome and 
evil... ‘It's not the Ritz,’ he said, ‘but  at this hour of the night it's only in 
a place like this that we stand a chance  of getting something to eat.’ 1942  
_M. DICKENS_ (http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-d2.html#m-dickens)  One 
Pair of Feet vii. 111 A  phrase that often sprang, unvoiced, to my lips, was ‘
This ain't the ruddy Ritz’. 1960  R. KIRKBRIDE Innocent Abroad xii. 87 Lousy 
as  the room was, I was damn' glad to have it... ‘It isn't the Ritz,’ I said. ‘
But  we got nowhere else to go.’ 1973  W. H. CANAWAY  Harry doing Good  I. i. 
14 The outhouse..was warm and fusty..but..for fifty pence who would  expect 
the Ritz? 1978  Vogue Feb. 8/2 Creating charming  country house suites with 
prints, quilting, Roman blinds, pretty colours, real  Ritz comfort.
b. Colloq. phr. to put on the ritz, to assume an air of superiority.  U.S.  
1926  R. LARDNER in Hearst's Internat. Jan. 33/2 If  you mention some really 
worth while novel like, say, ‘Black Oxen’, they think  you're trying to put 
on the Ritz. 1929  _I.  BERLIN_ 
(http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-b2.html#i-berlin)  Puttin' on the Ritz (song) 3 If  you're blue and you don't know 
what to do Why don't you go where Harlem sits  Puttin' On The Ritz. 1945  _L.  
SAXON_ (http://dictionary.oed.com/help/bib/oed2-s.html#l-saxon)  et al.  Gumbo 
Ya-Ya i. 11 You had to put  on the ritz downtown, which some of the gals 
didn't like. 1980  H. LUCE In  Midst of Death iii. 34 We'll have to decide how  
long we can go on putting on the  Ritz in this house. Personally, I'd much 
rather live in a  cottage.
HARRY  NEWMAN. Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963).  Chicago, Ill.: May 26, 
1921. p. 15 (1 page) 
No small time skates are wanted now. The whole gang has put on the  Ritz and 
are strutting about like a collection of pouter pigeons.
HARRY NEWMAN. Chicago Daily Tribune  (1872-1963). Chicago, Ill.: Jun 6, 1921. 
p. 19 (1 page) 
So different from the rest of the surroundings at the French  champion's 
quarters, the battler greets all the visitors with a cheery smile,  while the rest 
of the crew puts on the Ritz and freezes up whenever they are  approached by 
20 November 1923, Nevada State Journal, Pg. 3:
CHICAGO, Nov. 19. -- Financially Raymond Weaver may be a bum  without a dime 
in his pocket, but he certainly knows how to "put on the  ritz."
_Pickups  and Putouts_ 
Special to The New York Times..  New York Times (1857-Current file). New 
York, N.Y.: Jun  10, 1925. p. 19 (1 page) 
Frank Walker is the latest invalid on the club. He injured his  foot in 
practice the other day and the only reason he isn't wearing a cane is  because he 
is afraid the other players will accuse him of putting on the  Ritz.
11 June 1925, Oakland Tribune, pg. 16:
Vaudeville reviewers got the notion that the star was putting on  the "ritz" 
and the mere suggestion made it difficult for her because her chief  asset is 
her honesty.
The Atlanta Constitution  (1881-2001). Atlanta, Ga.: Jul 3, 1927. p. 13 (1 
Some of the star acts of variety are promised on the bill of  vaudeville 
which will be offered this week at Loew's Grand theater, which will  be headed by 
the comedians, the Ritz brothers. The new act of these funmakers is  entitled 
"Putting on the Ritz," a comedy in a collegiate  atmosphere.

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