ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 15 01:12:55 UTC 2013

 Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> In Wiktionary (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/c-note) and in a citation =
> in the OED under "benji," but no entry in the OED.=20
> -----
> =
> http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/javale-mcgee-100-homeless-=
> man-video-sleeping-street-161840470.html
> On one hand, I think it's cool that JaVale's response to coming across =
> someone who could surely use a C-note more than he could is to peel one =
> off.

JL's Historical Dictionary of American Slang has an entry for "C note"
with a cite in 1930. Below is evidence for a cite in 1929. I think the
OED has been incorporating some material from HDAS over time.

[Begin excerpt]

C-note n. [C + NOTE] Gamb. a one-hundred-dollar bill.

1930 Liberty (Oct. 11) 30: We gave him five C notes and two tens.

1954 Schulberg Waterfront 8. He was always good for fifties and
C-notes peeled off the fat roll.

[End excerpt]

I think there is an instance of "C note" in 1929 in a Damon Runyon
short story. Runyon used the term repeatedly in his tales. The excerpt
below is from a short story in a collection at Project Gutenberg
Australia. The bibliographic data is from an entry in Oxford
Dictionary of Humorous Quotations This story is part of a group that
inspired the Frank Loesser musical “Guys and Dolls”.

1929 August, Cosmopolitan,
"A Very Honorable Guy" by Damon Runyon


[Begin excerpt]
'There is the big trouble,' Feet says. 'I owe The Brain a C note
already, and I am supposed to pay him back by four o'clock Monday
morning, and where I am going to get a hundred dollars I do not know,
to say nothing of the other ten I must give him for interest.'
[End excerpt]


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

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