Posted by Cory on August 27, 2002
In Reply to: Maybe you'd like to share that entry with us posted by Word Camel on August 27, 2002
I don't have the entry. All I said was that it was in the dictionary by 1903. Does OED cite to earliest usage for every entry? That's why it is a fine dictionary. You guys are in England, right? It's your dictionary, I figured you could look it up, if you wanted. That's what I did.
Michael Quinion says it first appeared around 1902, but he gives no other source than America.
David Wilton states definitely that it first appeared in print in 1902, but he gives no source material either.
Evan Morris says it appears in the 1903 OED but he gives no entry either.
That's three different sources that date the phrase as appearing before WWI. I gave you the name of a famous book available in your neck of the woods and the date of publication (no I don't know who published it). I'm not going to read it for you.