Superfluous wheels again

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Sat Nov 9 00:46:10 UTC 2013

My column at Visual Thesaurus (by subscription) picks up the discussion
of "third wheels" and "fifth wheels" that Charlie Doyle began here
Garson's 1949 antedating of "third wheel" still stands. COHA has "fifth
wheel" back to 1839, always in a simile comparing someone's utility to
that of "a fifth wheel to/on a wagon/cart/coach."

There's also some information about "friend zone" the verb: past
participle "friendzoned" from 2007; unmistakable preterite "friendzoned"
from 2009.


The American Dialect Society -

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