Credit to Barry Popik (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Wed Jan 16 22:06:35 UTC 2008

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Barry, I believe, took the phrase back to 1822.

Gale's Eighteenth Century Collections Online has the phrase appearing as early as 1706.  It may have been a cliché for quite a while when Bulwer-Lytton got ahold of it.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society
> [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Shapiro, Fred
> Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 2:48 PM
> Subject: Credit to Barry Popik
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <Fred.Shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Credit to Barry Popik
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> -----------------
> In the latest issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine my regular
> column on quotations discusses, among several other
> quotations, "it was a dark and stormy night."  I credit Barry
> Popik there for the discovery that this phrase was used as an
> opening line of stories before Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 usage
> that is usually said to be the origin.
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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