Antedatings of "fave" and "fav", and a "faving"

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 27 11:12:39 UTC 2014

fave, n. and adj. (OED: 1938)
fav, n. (OED: 1935)
faving, v. (Not in OED)

The OED notes "fave" is especially used in show business, as are these
antedatings. For "fav" it says it's as in the results of horse racing, but
these antedatings are also showbiz.

(I didn't find much via Google Books, but saw the OED's early faves are
from Variety, so found the Variety archives which allows free searching,
and verified at Internet Archive.)


Variety, Vol. XXXVI, No. 4, September 26, 1914, page 17:

Sabrey D'Orsell.
14 Mins.; One.

Sabrey D'Orsell is billed as "The
Winter Garden Favorite in a Remark-
able Song Review," but she isn't living
up to the billing. Sabrey may have
been a fave at the Garden, but she
will have to change her style before
becoming a fave in vaudeville, big or
little. Miss D'Orsell has a voice, a
lyric soprano of coloratura quality that
reminds one somewhat of Bessie Abott.
But Miss D'Orsell possesses none of
that elusive quality called personality.
She impressed her audience wrongly at
the start, conveying a sort of a "I
know I'm too good" idea over the foot-
lights. She is singing three numbers,
opening with a Scotch number, follow-
ing with another semi-classical song,
and closes with "Annie Laurie." There
seems to be entirely too much of a
sameness in her selections, and she
could vary to advantage by the intro-
duction of a high class ballad. She
should also be coached in the manner
of taking bows.



Variety, Vol. XII, No. 9, November 7, 1908, "London Reviews" section, page

John Lawson and Co.
"Pigs in Clover."
Holborn Empire, London.

This sketch, or a "Racial Retrospect"
as it is billed, is full of thrills and then
some besides. There seems to be a moral
to the tale on inter-marriage between
Gentile and Hebrew. Mr. Lawson handles
his part very well, but the act seems to be
one of the impossible kind. The piece is
probably the most complicated affair on
the music hall stage, but Mr. Lawson
being the "Big Fav" may save the play-


Variety, Vol. XXII, No. 12, May 27, 1911, page 14:

San Francisco, May 21.
Tom Kelly la the big fav.......Odeon
Tom McOrath Is the big fav...Portola
Will Murphy Is the big fav....Orpheun

Its funny how popular these "dagos
are out here.


Variety, Vol. XXIX, No. 2, December 13, 1912, page 14:


The forthcoming "fav" or popular
favorite show at the Winter Garden for
around Feb. 1 is being placed in prep-
aration. Howard Atteridge and George
Bronson-Howard are writing the book.
Al Brown, newcomer to eastern terri-
tory, will furnish the music.



Probably a one-off, but here's a "faving" verb from 1908, meaning "to be a
fave" rather than the recent "to mark as a fave". It's also on the same
page as the earliest "Big Fav" noted above.

Variety, Vol. XII, No. 9, November 7, 1908, "London Notes" (Oct. 28)
section, page 10:

Topsy Sinden is an old London favorite,
and she could go on "faving" for some
time to come if she would stop singing
and stick to the dance. Topsy is there
with much good foot manipulation.



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