Idiot box

Posted by ESC on February 26, 2008 at 17:07:

In Reply to: Idiot box posted by Windy on February 26, 2008 at 09:15:

: In Robert Heinlein's 'Stranger in a Strange Land' I found 'idiot box' as a reference to television. Lovely term and certainly it fits most American television. Does anyone know if this is original to Heinlein? If it is not I'd love to know more about the origin.

One reference dates "idiot box" back to around 1955. Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 2, H-O, by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1997." This references Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition. The book was published in 1962, according to what I could find.