[Ads-l] "off the cuff" antedated to 1934

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sat Feb 21 16:58:10 UTC 2015

July 31, 1932. Times-Picayune [New Orleans], Section 2, p. 5, col. 1. Headline: Movie Formula Revived with Uproar Unknown to Silents.
…."you never know where a picture is going these days"…."Right," he [a studio head] beamed,"it was shot right off the cuff every morning…isn't that phenomenal?" [The same paper has an iffy Sept. 1, 1929 use: "….I picked one off the cuff and gave it to him for free."–horse racing tip.]

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
Sent: Saturday, February 21, 2015 10:48 AM
Subject: [ADS-L] "off the cuff" antedated to 1934

The previous earliest mentioned was Aug. 16, 1936 (discussed at Language Log and Early Sports and Pop Culture History Blog).

Gene Fowler, Father Goose The Story of Mack Sennett (NY: Covici, Friede, 1934) page 147:
He set up his cameras with showmanlike haste and began shooting extemporaneously-, or, "off the cuff."

Stephen Goranson


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