"(speech) balloon", as in the comics

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Dec 30 20:07:12 UTC 2010

Today Griffy, of the comic strip, says, "Speech balloons have been
around for almost 300 years, Zippy!"

The OED's earliest quotation is "1843    Dickens Martin Chuzzlewit."

Is Griffy wrong by 100+ years, or have we not found something?  (Of
course, the balloons may have been around for a while before they
were called "balloons".)  I've asked Zippy ... but his mental
capacity may not be up to an answer.


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

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