[Ads-l] Antedating of "Skateboarding"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 22 18:20:15 UTC 2022

I have a newspaper clipping somewhere, 1890s, 1900s, of a guy in San Fran, using a hooked iron bar to grasp the cable car wire in the street, and letting it pull himself down the road, standing on a flat board. Think it was labeled cable riding.
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2022 9:29:53 AM
Subject: Re: Antedating of "Skateboarding"

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: Antedating of "Skateboarding"

On Sat, Jan 22, 2022 at 11:56 AM Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>

> skateboarding (OED 1964)
> 1956 Akron Beacon-Journal 11 Mar. 14 (Newspapers.com)  The British Isle of
> Wight has a riding sport ... They call it skate boarding.

Interesting find. From the text and photos (via United Press), it appears
this is somewhat different from "skateboarding" as it developed in
California. The Isle of Wight version involved putting a board on a single
roller skate, sitting on the board, and rolling down a hill as if riding a

Akron Beacon-Journal:
Philadelphia Inquirer:

As for the Californian variety, Fred previously noted an antedating for
"skateboard" from the May 29, 1959 Pasadena Independent:


That same newspaper had "skateboarding" a few days later.

"Skateboard Casualties Mount," Pasadena (Calif.) Independent, June 3, 1959,
p. 11, col. 7
"One fellow had his leg set while his friend waited in my office. Three
hour later his friend came back with a broken ankle. Both of the accidents
were from skateboarding." [quoting an orthopedic surgeon]


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

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list