Is Chandler in fact the originator of the phrase, which has been adopted
(and parodied) so widely?
> Mark Nevins
For a discussion of the possible sources of Chandler's use of the
expression "mean streets," see T.R. Steiner's brief article, "The Origin
of Raymond Chandler's 'Mean Streets'" ANQ [American Notes & Queries] 7
(1994): pp. 225-27.
I don't think the full article may be viewed for free online but p. 225
may be viewed at www.questia.com (search on Author = Steiner, T R).
Beyond the use of the two words "mean streets," I think we can assume
that "down these mean streets" + the rest of the famous quotation are
Chandler's own words.
Kari E. Johnson
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