Further Antedating of "Plugola"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Fri May 23 22:35:01 UTC 2014

Here's a further antedating of "plugola":

1954 _Variety_ 15 Dec. 42 (Entertainment Industy Magazine Archive)  In a complex presentation, Hooper describes his tv plugola reports as covering nine points in all.

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Hugo [hugovk at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2014 3:14 AM
Subject: Antedating of "plugola"

Today's OED Online Word of the Day is "plugola", first quoted 1959.

Here's a January 07, 1957 antedating from Time magazine, page 67,
"Television: The Biggest Giveaway":

One of the chiggers beneath the skins of network bigwigs and Madison
Avenue operatives is the custom of the free plug, or "plugola." A TV
comic, disk jockey or M.C. slips a brand name into his patter, e.g.,
"They said I was drunk, but it was all relative—Old Grand-Dad," and he
or his gagwriter can count on the "payola"—a case or two of whisky in
the next delivery. Offenses have occurred most persistently on the Bob
Hope, Jack Benny, Arthur Godfrey, Steve Allen and Robert Q. Lewis
shows; yet the networks fear...

Preview from:

The snippet on Google Books also shows the date: "TIME, JANUARY 7, 1957".


An earlier sense appears as a product to plug holes in bicycle tyre punctures.

1899: "Bicycle Sundries. ... Eclipse Plugola ................ 9c."

1902 snippet: "... Magnet Plugola for small tire punctures..."



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