[Ads-l] Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain = clients (that bring in revenue)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Mon Jul 16 17:07:41 UTC 2018

Maybe relevant:

"...These as a rule make fairly good wages when they work, but every little while some rain-maker comes along and by discharging a few tariff bombs drives their financial sun under a cloud...."

Springfield Republican, page 5
Publication Date:
December 6, 1891
Published as:
Springfield Republican
Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield News And Comment. Pawnbrokers And Their Shops. Peculiarities In The Business Which Has Its
Article Type:

S. Goranson

From: American Dialect Society <..> on behalf of MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY RDECOM AMRDEC (US) <..>
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2018 11:03 AM
To: ..
Subject: [ADS-L] Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain = clients (that bring in revenue)

And "rainmaker" can be slightly antedated:

_Dixon [Illinois] Evening Telegraph_ 25 Jul 1895 p 3 col 4 [newspapers.com]



Free Silver Charlatans Endeavoring to Humbug the People."

> -----Original Message-----

> From: American Dialect Society [..] On Behalf Of Ben Zimmer

> Sent: Monday, July 16, 2018 2:02 AM

> To: ..

> Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: rain = clients (that bring in revenue)



> Appears to be a kind of back-formation from "rainmaker." OED3 has the relevant sense:


> ----

> 4. fig. Business (orig. U.S.). A person who generates business or income for a company or organization, esp. by attracting clients.

> 1897   Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Jrnl. 8 Dec. 4/2   He does not make any

> special exhibit of his financial rain maker, Mr. Wolcott.

> 1971   Washington Post 16 May b3/1   'He was mostly a rainmaker,' the kind

> of legal agent who makes things happen.

> 1989   Toronto Star (Nexis) 26 Mar. f2   These are the rainmakers who are

> leaving. These are the guys who bring in the business.

> 1999   N.Y. Mag. 20 Sept. 32/3   A Democratic rainmaker who raised $1.5

> million for Democratic candidates.

> 2002   P. Augar & J. Palmer Rise Player Manager xiii. 286   Heroes in the

> professions are those in the front line: the star barristers, the rainmakers in corporate finance, the creatives in advertising.

> ----

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

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