antedating of fiasco (1842, 1844)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sun Sep 2 11:50:13 UTC 2007

OED has 1855 sense 2 {"...of obscure origin..."), "A failure or
break-down in a
dramatic or musical performance. Also in a general sense: An ignominious
failure, a ?mull?

Gale 19th cent. US newspapers (dates confirmed on the page)

The New York Herald, (New York, NY) Saturday, June 04, 1842; Issue 154; col A
     Twelve Days Later from Europe Arrival of the Steamer Columbia
"The management of the Italian Opera in Paris has been this season
in all its speculations; empty benches, small receipts, _fiasco_ for their new
opera, and now to crown it suit."

The New York Herald, (New York, NY) Wednesday, March 06, 1844; Issue
[66]; col E
     France Politics?Molier and the French Academy?Arlin Court and
Custine?s Russia?Advertising?Mysteries of Berlin?Councerts U. B..
Category: News
"He came in time t[o] witness a dreadful _fiasco_ of Pacini's
Opera-"Maria" and
Taglioni's grand ballet ...."

Stephen Goranson

The American Dialect Society -

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