"Read My Lips"

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Fri Jan 4 02:41:46 UTC 2008

On Thu, Jan 03, 2008 at 09:16:10PM -0500, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> In The Yale Book of Quotations I say that the expression
> "read my lips" appears in the Clint Eastwood film, Magnum
> Force (1973) (and also earlier as the title of a 1957 song
> by Joe Greene).  Now, however, I am wondering whether "read
> my lips" does actually appear in Magnum Force; I am not sure
> that my sources for that assertion were reliable.  Can
> anyone confirm or disconfirm the Magnum Force usage?  Jesse,
> did the OED check this out for its forthcoming entry on
> "read my lips"?  Also, did the OED accept the 1957 song
> usage?  Is there any still earlier usage that was found?

We do accept the 1957 use. We didn't bother checking the
Eastwood film; we just left a gap until 1982 for our next
example. We don't have anything earlier.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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