Antedating of "Poker Face"

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Mon Jan 28 04:50:35 UTC 2013

On Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 03:27:19PM +0000, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> poker face (OED 1884)
> 1874 _Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art_ 26
> Dec. 837 (ProQuest) _Round Games at Cards_, by Cavendish. ...We haven
> given us in this little book clear rules for some fifteen round games
> at cards. ... To any one not very well up in these games, some parts
> of the book are at first sight rather puzzling. "It follows," we read
> in one passage, "that the possession of a good _poker face_" (the
> italics are the author's) "is an advantage."
> NOTE:  An earlier citation could be found in the reviewed book itself.

Not exactly. A citation can be found in the reviewed book, but it is not
"earlier", because the book has a publication date of 1875, while the
review quoted above is from December 1874.

This is the sort of thing that keeps bibliographers up at night.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

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