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

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 8 14:31:34 EST 2016

It's older than you think -- see this 1895 article about Volapük:

_Chemist and Druggist_, Volume 46, Jan. 5, 1895, p. 20, col. 2
We have often wondered how any person of common sense can imagine that it
is possible to induce the population of the world at large to adopt, for
international intercourse, a sort of mosaic language carefully glued
together from odd bits of all the Aryan (and, for aught we know, Semitic)
tongues by an arm-chair linguist, or that such a piece of joinery can stand
the wear and tear of common usage.

(On Google Books I also see "armchair historian" from 1888 and "armchair
anthropologist" from 1920.)

On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 1:46 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> “Armchair linguist” must be a bit later, and not yet in OED.  1960s
> perhaps?
> > On Dec 8, 2016, at 1:44 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> > 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).
> >
> >

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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