Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Jun 24 16:36:31 UTC 2013

Last night's season finale of "Mad Men" (set in late 1968) included what seemed
to be an anachronistic usage when (spoiler alert!) Don suggests to his wife
Megan that they could be "bicoastal" (splitting time between New York and
L.A.). OED has cites from 1939 for the more general sense of the word and 1978
for the sense relevant here ("Designating a person who has a home on both the
east and west coasts of the United States, or who commutes frequently between
those coasts").

A couple of antedatings -- the one from 1948 is a bit of an outlier:

1948 _Marietta (Ga.) Journal_ 3 May 4/4 [GenealogyBank] Ona [Munson], across the
table, doesn't see why Hollywood and Broadway must be a world apart. ... In a
word - a new one - the smart actor is the one who is bi-coastal.

1976 _Vogue_ 1 June 116/2 [ProQuest] People are talking about... "Bi-coastal,"
the definitive identity word for someone with one foot in N.Y.C., the other in
L.A., and not a notion of how to balance the act.


Ben Zimmer

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

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