Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 11:56:39 -0500
From: Mark Mandel
Subject: "small time", etc.

Barry Popik writes:
_Origination of Phrases_
Talking about "small time," "Variety" was the first to use expressions like
"big time" and "small time." _Jolo_, when he
didn't care very much for an act, would finish up his reviews with the line,
"Good for the Small Time."
Later on "Four-a-day," "Three-a-day," "Smallest Time," "Intermediate Time," were
all expressions originating in "Variety."

So, was a "big time" act or theater originally one whose presentation took a
long time, possibly including backstage prep
and takedown time, and which therefore could only be presented once a day, or
twice at the maximum? Barry's inclusion
of "four-a-day" and "three-a-day" in the same set as "big time", "small time",
"smallest time", and "intermediate time"
suggests as much, but at this remove there's no way to be sure.

-- Mark

Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]
Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 796-0267
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