ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 24 17:36:30 UTC 2013

Here is an instance of "bi-coastal" that apparently refers to
commuting between New York and Hollywood circa 1959. This may reduce
the isolation of Ben's 1948 cite.  The match is in Google Books and
only snippets are visible. Sometimes even the snippets are blocked;
hence, verification on paper required.

The match seems to occur in an article about Betty Comden and Adolph
Green in The Theatre Magazine Yearbook of 1959. A snippet of the
article mentions a "recent" production "A Party", and I think this is
a reference to the 1959 Broadway show "A Party with Betty Comden &
Adolph Green".

Title: The Theatre Magazine Yearbook
Page: 38 (from GB; may be inaccurate)
Year: 1959 (from GB; may be inaccurate)

[Begin extracted text]
She is from Brooklyn, he is from The Bronx, both now live and work in
Manhattan, but with about 20 trips between here and Hollywood since
the moviemakers "discovered" them, Mr. Green, speaking for both,
described themselves as "bi-coastal". They fly back and forth always
(except for one train trip, but that too was fast and non-stop even
for trains), and they and Green have landed nowhere in the country in
between. "All that country," he said, his imagination working. I knew
some of the country and took the liberty of plugging Arizona and New
Mexico as special reasons for stopovers. He seemed interested.
[End excerpt]


On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM, Ben Zimmer
<bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      "bicoastal"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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.
> --bgz
> --
> Ben Zimmer
> http://benzimmer.com/
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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