Antedating of "MILF"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Feb 24 19:26:09 UTC 2013

On Sun, Feb 24, 2013 at 2:11 PM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> I was basing the link between the band name and the acronym on the fact
> that _The F-Word_ seems to accept that link.  What did the band member say
> about the meaning of the band name when Ben Zimmer talked to him or her?

See the post I linked to upthread:

-----[begin email]-----

My recollection is that we adopted the name for the band in January
1991. We heard the acronym/word from a friend who was a lifeguard in
the Buffalo area, specifially Fort Niagara State Park (one of my
ex-bandmates, also a lifeguard, yesterday confirmed that it was "a
lifeguard term"). I would not say it was common at that time -- in
fact, it being the first time we'd ever heard it is probably what led
us to choose it as a band name. We probably intended it as a temporary
name. However, as we started to play shows and release music, the name
ended up sticking. The first "national" press mention of the band name
would have been in 1993/1994, when reviews our our music began to show
up in music magazines, such as Alternative Press, Option, and so on.
The band was also probably mentioned in the Buffalo News (Buffalo's
daily newspaper) and other regional publications as early as 1992. The
band ended in the fall of 1995.

Our promotional materials and logo used the word as all lowercase, no periods.

-----[end email]-----

But now we know thanks to Laurel Sutton's Berkeley slang list that it was also
in use in the Bay Area in Spring 1992.


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list