[PW] Burger, Shakes and Fries

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Tue Aug 27 07:50:44 PDT 2019


It appears that "burger" first achieved popularity as a suffix.  Next,
it began to stand alone as a replacement for hamburger.

"VEAL BURGER" appeared in a supermarket advertisement in 1931.

Date: April 18, 1931
Newspaper: Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Newspaper Location: Bluefield, West Virginia
Article: (Kroger's Advertisement)
Quote Page 3, Column 1
Database: Newspapers.com
https://www.newspapers.com/image/10421785/

[Begin excerpt]
VEAL BURGER
Lb. _____________ 25c
SOMETHING NEW
[End excerpt]

While searching for instances of the "burger" suffix at newspapers.com
I found that researcher Peter Reitan had apparently investigated the
same topic in 2017. He clipped two pertinent items from "The Brooklyn
Daily Eagle" in 1934.

Date: January 13, 1934
Newspaper: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Newspaper Location: Brooklyn, New York
Article: Hollywood
Author: Rian James
Quote Page 5, Column 1
Database: Newspapers.com
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/13845625/the_brooklyn_daily_eagle/

[Begin excerpt]
Roadside stands that specialize in "hamburger," "chickenburger,"
"turkeyburger, and "nut-burger" are beginning to bore us to death . .
.
[End excerpt]

Date: January 13, 1934
Newspaper: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Newspaper Location: Brooklyn, New York
Article: (Advertisement for Rian James column)
Quote Page 1, Column 5
Database: Newspapers.com
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/13845582/the_brooklyn_daily_eagle/

[Begin excerpt]
Rian James Talks About
hamburgers, chicken-burgers, turkey-burgers, nut-burgers and other
things in his Hollywood Column in The Eagle Today
[End excerpt]

"The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional
English" (2008) edited by Tom Dalzell is is visible as a preview in
Google Books. The entry for "Burger" presents a 1924 date, but the
reference does not give a citation for 1924. Instead, the citation is
dated 2006. Hence, the evidence supporting a 1924 date is not clear to
me.
https://books.google.com/books?id=qX5aDwAAQBAJ&

[Begin excerpt]
burger noun
a hamburger US, 1924
[End excerpt]

On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 10:13 AM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> The one page article in "American Speech" is about burger as a suffix.
> Here are two excepts.
>
> Date: 1939 April
> Journal: American Speech
> Volume 14, Number 2
> Article: Hamburger Progeny
> Author: Arnold Williams
> Quote Page 154
> Published by: Duke University Press
> https://www.jstor.org/stable/451228
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> A notebook kept on travels about the country yields these specimens of
> the use of -burger as a suffix:
> Chickenburger. Ground chicken.
> Cheeseburger. Hamburger and chopped cheese mixed and grille
> Clamburger. An old staple, the clam fritter.
> Lamburger. Ground lamb. (This tasted like 'ramburger.')
> Rabbitburger. Ground rabbit.
> Nutburger. A nut and meat sandwich.
> Porkburger. Ground pork, in other words, sausage!
> Wimpyburger. A specially large hamburger sandwich.
> [End excerpt]
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> Wimpyburger suggests to the student of etymology a clue to the
> undeniable popularity of -burger as a suffix.
> . . .
> Wimpy is an inveterate coiner of new words. Several years ago he
> created goonburger,  so far as I know, the first use of -burger as a
> suffix. More  recently demonburger has appeared. It may well be that
> Segar is thus responsible for the advent of a new suffix into the
> vulgate.
> [End excerpt]
>
> On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 9:33 AM John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:
> >
> > On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 3:01 AM Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:
> >
> > 1939   Amer. Speech 14 154.
> > > 1941   Word Study Nov. 7/1   A favorite broth of the word-brewers..forms
> > > like -burger, -krieg, -teria.
> > > 1946   Amer. Speech 21 88   Burger, hamburger sandwich. 'Burger steak' is
> > > hamburger steak.
> > > 1960   Observer 28 Feb. 13/4   Recently the Hamburger has become just a
> > > 'burger', and there are 'beefburgers', 'chefburgers', 'cheeseburgers',
> > > 'eggburgers' and even 'kingburgers'.
> > >
> >
> > Thanks for doing the research, but I must differ from your conclusions.
> >
> >
> > > We can't tell how it was used in American Speech in 1939 (which is
> > > unusual),
> >
> >
> > Most likely a article featuring the word.  _American Speech_ is a
> > scholarly journal documenting special features of American English,
> > including but not limited to changes in the language.  Unfortunately
> > Project Muse does not contain issues going that far back.
> >
> >
> > > but burger = hamburger was still novel in 1946
> >
> >
> > Again, not necessarily.   This is probably a summary article.
> >
> > and was considered a recent usage even in 1960.
> >
> >
> > Now we are dealing with a U.K. newspaper.  There are two explanations: one
> > is simply that the word took a long time to make it across the Pond.  The
> > other, which is more likely a priori, is that this is an instance of the
> > Recency Illusion, an extremely common fallacy in which people believe that
> > lingustic usages that have only just come to their conscious awareness are
> > genuinely novel.  Well-known examples are uptalk (known long before Valley
> > Girls were a thing), _really_ as an intensifier (used by Benjamin
> > Franklin), _literally_ as an intensifier (first recorded 1765),  "between
> > you and I" (used by Shakespeare), and singular _they_ (first recorded 1375).
> >
> >
> > > So this suggests that people going out for "burgers" was, at best, not
> > > particularly prevalent anywhere in 1941.
> > >
> >
> > If it weren't prevalent at least in some regions or among some social
> > groups, it probably wouldn't have made it into _American Speech_.
> >
> >
> > John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
> > If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing
> > on my shoulders.  --Hal Abelson
> > _______________________________________________
> > Project Wombat - Project-wombat
> > list at project-wombat.org
> > http://www.project-wombat.org/


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