Re: RARA-AVIS: Nominations -- The word "Hard-boiled"

Date: 23 Mar 2002


Re your question below:

> It would be nice if somebody could come up with
> the origin of the word [hard-boiled as a synonym
> for "tough], or earlier refrences,
> since My Mirriam-Websters says the word goes back
> to 1886.

I'd heard that the first use of the term was in reference to professional drill sergeants during WWI, who, once the US entered the war, had to turn a large group of untrained citizens into citizen-soldiers in reocord time. That was well after 1886, however.


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