[Ads-l] OED updates

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 13 21:44:18 UTC 2018

On Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 2:59 PM Bill Mullins <amcombill at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Debbie Downer -- OED has 26 Aug 2004 p 90 col 2
> NY _Daily News_ 4 May 2004
> "That's because during one skit, ironically titled 'Debbie Downer,' the
> entire cast fell victim to an infectious giggle fit."

The OED's etymology notes that the SNL sketch with Rachel Dratch aired on
May 1, 2004. The first cite from Aug. 26 (Gwyneth Paltrow to Oprah: "I'm
Debbie Downer over here") is, as Katherine Martin noted on Twitter, the
earliest that the OED has found for the *allusive* use of "Debbie Downer"
to refer to a gloomy, pessimistic person.



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

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