In Reply to: The Pill posted by David FG on April 29, 2010 at 06:14:
: : I was reading an article about the birth control pill. This made me wonder, who coined the phrase "The Pill"? Most every Americaan knows what you mean when you say "The Pill". Where did this come from?
: When the contraceptive pill first emerged it was a huge development, both medically and sociologically. It would have been just about the only pill people talked about, so it was natural that it would become, in speech, writing and thought, simply 'The Pill'.
And very quickly, too. It (actually Enovid 10) was approved for contraceptive use in the U.S. in 1960, and it probably wasn't long before it became just "The Pill." Who wants to say "oral contraceptive pill" every time? It has had an interesting history in the U.S. See:
in which you will learn that the Pill was banned in Connecticut and much of New England (but not Rhode Island) until 1965, and banned for unmarried people in the same states until 1972. These are the dates of significant lawsuits which targeted Yankee blue laws. Some people don't give up easily.
I don't know if people were calling it "The Pill" as early as 1960, but I'm sure it wasn't long after. I thought it interesting that the authors of the longish and slightly dry Wikipedia article call the pill in question simply "the Pill" most of the time. You may still use this designation without fear of ambiguity, although the new pill with only progesterone is called "the mini-pill."