[Ads-l] ATM = Vending Machine

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 28 17:11:24 UTC 2019

The OED entry for ATM presents a first citation in 1975.

[Begin excerpt]
ATM n. orig. U.S. automatic (also automated) teller machine (see
automatic teller n. at automatic adj. and n. Special uses).
1975   Changing Times Oct. 6/2   An ATM requires a much smaller
investment than construction of a full-fledged branch office.
[End excerpt]

Here is an instance of ATM that appeared a few months earlier:

Date: March 23, 1975
Newspaper: Lansing State Journal
Newspaper Location: Lansing, Michigan
Article: 'Debit' Key Word in Shopper's New Banking Language
Author: Julie Lehr (Staff Writer)
Quote Page D1, Column 1
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
The automatic teller machine — or ATM — is a service already available
locally at East Lansing State Bank in its "Teller 24."
[End excerpt]

The phrase "ATM machine" ('Automated Teller Machine' machine) is an
exemplar of RAS syndrome ('Redundant Acronym Syndrome' syndrome). I
suspect that the phrase "ATM machine" appeared shortly after ATM was
coined. So this 1981 citation is probably a bit late.

Date: May 6, 1981
Newspaper: The Washington Post
Newspaper Location: Washington, D.C.
Article: Obtaining Cash From Out-of-State Automatic Tellers Becoming Easier
Author: Nancy L. Ross (Washington Post Staff Writer)
Quote Page B4, Column 4
Database: ProQuest

[Begin excerpt]
Starting in July, American Express will expand the functions of its
Gold Card to enable customers to obtain $500 a week from an ATM
machine at any one of 149 locations in 16 major cities.
[End excerpt]


On Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 11:17 AM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> I remember being impressed by the cans of beer in vending machines in Tokyo in 2001.  No cooking needed.
> LH

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list