[Ads-l] "March Madness" "Sweet Sixteen" and the like

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 29 18:58:28 UTC 2019

Last year I started a thread about this here.

I recently posted a piece summarizing my findings on "March Madness", "Sweet Sixteen," "Elite Eight", "Cinderella" teams and the "Big Dance."

I didn't find anything earlier than the 1927 "Sweet Sixteen" I mentioned here last year, although I did find some new, early examples from 1928, also in Indiana.

I didn't find anything earlier than the 1931 example of "March Madness" Barry Popik found previously.  I did, however, provide examples of earlier meanings of "March madness," including one common usage relating to bad weather.

The 1931 example appears to play off the weather-related usage.  Under the headline, "March Madness," it refers to a number of recent upsets in the tournament as "flurries".  It does not unambiguously refer to the tournament itself as "March madness," although the inspiration for the expression is clearly there.

I haven't seen any other examples until 1937 when it becomes common, and was used at that time in both Indiana and Michigan.  It might be older, but no examples in print other than the 1931 example.

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

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