Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 08:19:50 EST
From: Bapopik Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
The RHHDAS H-O doesn't have "has-been."
The DA has it from 1896.
This somewhat-related term is from SPORTING LIFE, 20 October 1886 (yep,
there's more), pg. 3, col. 4:
EVEN in California they now speak of Charlie Sweeney as a "used-to-be."
Damon Runyan used "has-been" frequently in his writings. It was a
popular baseball phrase from 1910-1930. SPORTING LIFE, 6 May 1911, pg. 7,
cols. 2-3, has a poem called "LAMENT OF THE 'HAS BEEN.'"
Just how old is "has been"? 1896?
The following--in both italics and quotation marks--is from the New York
Morning Express, 4 September 1844, pg. 1, col. 1:
Correspondence of the Express.
GLOUCESTER, (MASS.) August 2, 1844
I prophecy, that in two years, Nahant will be numbered among the "_has
beens_," for Gloucester is at last in a fair way of being noticed and known.