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Not rocket science

Posted by ESC on January 09, 2011 at 13:40

In Reply to: Not rocket science posted by Dorthy Inglis on January 08, 2011 at 09:16:

: I wondered where the phrase "it's not rocket science" started.

That's a good question. But I don't have an answer. Rocket ship was first used in 1927 and rocket plane/airplane/aeroplane in 1928 when a rocket-powered airplane was only a "theoretical possibility." (“20th Century Words: The Story of New Words in English Over the Last 100 Years” by John Ayto. Oxford University Press, New York, 1999, Page 169-170.) Another reference says "rocket scientist" was used in the 1990s on United States campuses, meaning stupid. Ironic use of Standard English. (“Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang” by Jonathon Green, Wellington House, London, 1998. Page 1005.)