[Ads-l] "[Blank] Quarterback" - Second-guessing

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 8 13:44:03 EST 2016


As I noted elsethread, OED3 now has "armchair critic" (1856), "armchair
strategist" (1888), "armchair general" (1900), and "armchair quarterback"
(1932 -- same cite from Ottawa Journal).


On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 1:29 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you.
>
> After posting, a reader suggested that "armchair general" might be older.
> It is.
>
> In a quick few searches, I could find only a fee, sporadic early examples,
> the earliest from an article written shortly after Ulysses S Grant died.
> It noted that the soldiers and officers respected each other, it was only
> the "armchair generals" back home who bore grudges.
>
> Yorkville enquirer (South Carolina), July 30, 1885, page 2.  Chronicling
> America.
> ________________________________
> From: ADSGarson O'Toole<mailto:adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: ‎12/‎8/‎2016 9:52
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: Re: "[Blank] Quarterback" - Second-guessing
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "[Blank] Quarterback" - Second-guessing
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> -------------------
>
> Impressive work, Peter. Thanks for sharing it via your website.
> Garson
>
> On Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 3:56 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
> > I revisited the expression "Monday morning quarterback" that I wrote
> abou=
> t on my blog a couple years ago.  My earlier effort missed the big picture.
> >
> >
> > "Monday morning quarterback" has been discussed here in the past, with
> Ba=
> rry Popik pointing out the earliest example of "Monday morning
> quarterback"=
>  in the New York Times, December 5, 1931 and Ben Zimmer noting that
> "Sunday=
>  morning quarterback" antedated MMQ by more than a year.
> >
> > http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2006-July/061131.html
> >
> >
> > I heard the expression "armchair quarterback" the other day, prompting
> me=
>  to take a second look.  There are at least four "[blank] quarterback"
> idio=
> ms that antedate "Monday morning quarterback," and more than a dozen that
> f=
> ollowed it.
> >
> >
> > The earliest ones are:
> >
> >
> > "Grandstand quarterback," "As Joe Williams Sees It," Pittsburgh Press,
> Oc=
> tober 17, 1927, page 31.
> >
> >
> > "Cigar store quarterback" (one example), Rochester Democrat and
> Chronicle=
> , October 22, 1927, page 9.
> >
> >
> > "Sunday morning quarterback," Knute Rockne's syndicated column, Des
> Moine=
> s Register, September 28, 1928, page 12.
> >
> >
> > "Drugstore quarterback" (perhaps influenced by the earlier "drugstore
> cow=
> boy"), Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, November 22, 1931, page 13.
> >
> >
> > "Sunday morning quarterback" appeared in print only sporadically before
> "=
> Monday morning quarterback."   "Monday morning quarterback" immediately
> bec=
> ame the most common one after it first appeared in print, although "Sunday
> =
> morning" appeared more frequently thereafter as well.  "Grandstand
> quarterb=
> ack" was more common than "Sunday morning quarterback" before and after
> "Mo=
> nday morning quarterback."
> >
> >
> > Later variants include: armchair, bleacher, radio, parlor, easy chair,
> so=
> da fountain, day-after, living room, television (or TV), beer parlor and
> be=
> er garden quarterbacks, although a few of them only show up one or a few
> ti=
> mes.  "Armchair", "bleacher," "drugstore" and "television" return a
> signifi=
> cant number of hits over a long period of time.
> >
> >
> > My post: http://esnpc.blogspot.com/2016/12/grandstands-armchairs-
> and-drugstores.html
> >
> >
>

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