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Origin of 24/7

Posted by D. Pulaski on April 10, 2001

In Reply to: Origin of 24/7 posted by NeilB on April 07, 2001

: : : : : I have an idea that "24/7" (twenty-four seven), meaning "constantly" and now often heard in the United States, originated among African-American speakers. Can anyone confirm or disconfirm this?

: : : : I couldn't find it in any of my references.

: : : I've heard it in Brooklyn as 24/7 and twice on Sunday.
: : : (24 hours a day / 7 days a week--and twice on sunday)-----Go figure?

: : Here's something that originated amongst the Afro-Ameri's in the streets of Harlem. You may hear someone scream "5" "0"--- this means the police are nearby. This comes from the old 1960's cop show "Hawaii 5-0." Incidentally the "50" in Hawaii 5-0 stood for Hawaii being the 50th state of United States.

: OK, so if a 24/7 shop is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a weeks why do the doors have locks on them?

: This usage has been current in manufacturing operations for some time to refer to operations that run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Since both traditional 8 hour shifts and nontraditional 12 hour alternate work schedule shifts are mixed, the older saying about 3 shifts/7 days was
no longer appropriate. When this entered the real world, I don't know.