[Ads-l] "no-fly" (1963), "no-go" (1969)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 25 03:08:13 UTC 2016

My latest Wall Street Journal column looks at the expression "no fly, no
buy" as used for gun-control legislation.


Before the "no-fly list" there were "no-fly zones," where aircraft (not
passengers) are not allowed to fly. OED3 (2003 entry) has "no-fly (zone)"
from 1988 -- here it is from 1963:

Robert B. Asprey, "Report on ITR"
Marine Corps Gazette, Sept. 1963, p. 33, col. 1
Aggressorland is literally built out of junk and is a monument to the
ingenuity and hard work of ITR cadre. Capt Haight's favorite project is a
triple-missile site built out of old generators, refrigerators, barbecue
grills, and abandoned automobiles. Laugh if you want to, but shortly after
it was unveiled helicopter pilots asked if the area was a no-fly zone.

I also found more modest antedatings for "no-go (land/area/zone)," which
OED3 has from 1971. All are in the context of The Troubles in Northern
Ireland (Belfast papers might push it back further).

* no-go land

Guardian, Oct. 14, 1969, p. 18, col. 1
Some barricades appeared on the Catholic side of 'No go' land, but Falls
Road was clear.
Times (UK), Jan. 6, 1970, p. 9, col. 7
Undoubtedly his most delicate problem at present is the old "no-go lands"
of Bogside and Falls Road where joint patrols are carried out by Military
Police and police.

* no-go area

Guardian, July 24, 1970, p. 1, col. 2
The Northern Ireland Government's decision to band all processions for six
months, and restore normal policing in the Roman Catholic "no go" areas,
produced the inevitable intransigence last night.
Spectator, July 25, 1970, p. 66, col. 1
But, among the speeches that were made, there was a good deal of criticism
of the government on law and order issues -- the disbandment of the B
Specials, the disarming of the regular police, the 'no go' areas of Belfast
and Derry where troops and police tread very carefully if they tread at all.


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

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