Wiki: First known use of words and terms

Thought this might be of some use here. These are some of the ones I’ve run headlong into (I keep a list), but feel free to add others.

This post is a wiki, so you can press the little edit button and add your additions directly to this post (put your name in parentheses when you add something).

Crazy like a fox – 1935
Jack-of-all-trades – 1610
Up the creek – 1941
Crowd-control – 1966
Tapped out – 1942
Love-tap – 1848
Jaded (bored, blase) – 1630s
Babe in the woods – 1795
Kaleidoscope – 1817
Viral – 1944 (disease), 1999 (popularity)
Santa Claus – 1773
Size up – 1847
Aglow – 1817
Vaguely – 1748
Penny-pincher – 1906
Usual suspects – 1942
Burn the candle at both ends – 1730
Fat chance – 1905
Water moccasin – 1821
Fire station – 1828
Multiplication (math) – late 1300s
Shipyard – around 1700
Hex – 1830 (practice witchcraft), 1856 (a witch), 1909 (a magic spell)
Godforsaken – 1816
Ketchup – 1711
Nag (to scold) – 1828
Sick and tired – 1783
Good riddance – 1650s
Espionage – 1793
Dick (penis) – 1891
Lots (many) – 1812
Girl (female child) – 1380s or so
Fool-proof – 1902
Single (unmarried) – 1300s (SepiaAndDust)

Thanks for nothing – seems to be 1703 (SaD)

Already – Late 1300s as an adverb (but 1903 as an emphatic That’s enough, already!)
America – 1507 (related to the names Emory and Amelia)
Sky – 1200s
Cloud – 1300s (originally meant pile of rocks)
Scram! – 1928
Powder keg (figurative) – 1855, but probably earlier in spoken form
Powder room (women’s bathroom) – 1936
Little boys’ room / Little girls’ room (bathroom) – 1957
Diva (singer) – 1864 (SaD)

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That one surprised me the most! I would have bet it to be a modern word.

Such an interesting list, thanks for sharing!

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Heh… that should read 1300s…
I’ll edit it now.

Even earlier! Oh my.

I was most surprised by ketchup. I always assumed it to be a 20th/maybe late 19th century invention.

(Also, @Sex_Drugs_and_NaNoWriMo, how did you get that nested quote to work out so neatly?)

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I knew that Heinz was founded around the mid 19th century, so I assumed the word Ketchup had to be old, but 1711 did surprise me as well.

I use BB Code [quote] tags. You can quote mine to see how I do it (just hit cancel when you’re done).

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Ketchup was not originally a tomato based sauce, so the word itself if much older than our conception of it’a modern incarnation.

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I’ve turned the thread into a wiki so any additions will be in one place and won’t get lost amid the discussion. Check the OP for new entries.

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Added

Thanks for nothing – seems to be 1703
Already – Late 1300s as an adverb (but 1903 as an emphatic That’s enough, already!)
America – 1507 (related to the names Emory and Amelia)
Sky – 1200s
Cloud – 1300s (originally meant pile of rocks)
Scram! – 1928
Powder keg (figurative) – 1855, but probably earlier in spoken form
Powder room (women’s bathroom) – 1936
Little boys’ room / Little girls’ room (bathroom) – 1957
Diva (singer) – 1864

Well, THAT underwent some weird evolution… (which of course I couldn’t help but look up)

Source

I don’t know what people in the 1300s were smoking, but whoever decided clouds looked like sky rocks was definitely on something.

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