[Ads-l] Pre-1988 "dead pool"?

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Sat Jan 16 17:01:35 UTC 2016

The most recent spate of celebrity deaths got me thinking about "dead 
pools," as written about, for example, in this article:

“You Bet Their Life” by Evan Forster New York Magazine Sep 22, 1997, p.20

The earliest attestations of "dead pool" in Google Books, ProQuest, and 
NewsBank are all from 1988, referring to Clint Eastwood's final Dirty 
Harry movie "The Dead Pool," screenplay by Buddy Van Horn. I'm wondering 
if van Horn coined the phrase, or heard it and used it. (The Marvel 
character Deadpool, soon to have his own movie, was created in 1991.) 
Antedatings are welcome! 


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list