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Friday, January 05, 2007

Balderdash & Piffle - help rewrite the OED

Help write the OED.

Balderdash & Piffle - help rewrite the OED

The OED seeks to find the earliest verifiable usage of every single word in the English language – currently 600,000 in the OED and counting – and of every separate meaning of every word. Quite a task! The forty words on the appeal list all have a date next to them – corresponding to the earliest evidence the dictionary currently has for that word of phrase. Can you trump that?

e.g. flip flop

WANTED: Verifiable evidence before 1970.

Ever hear the joke about the Frenchman in sandals? Phillipe Floppe? Never mind. The onomatopoeic word flip-flop referred to a somersault, an electronic circuit, and a manner of moving noisily, before it came to mean a rubber sandal beloved of antipodeans, although of course they call them jandals or (how wrong can you get?) thongs… Flip-flop is the word we are interested in here, and the OED wants your evidence of the word from before 1970.

The OED has a list of words that they're looking to find earliest usage. If you're able to provide CONCRETE dates and usage with verifiable references for the words they're looking for, drop them a line.

I found a couple of earlier dates using Googja and handy references and sent them on this afternoon. They may already have received those ante-datings, but maybe not and the more the merrier.

Join in.

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