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As part of our #OED90 activities we're going to be highlighting some of the fascinating titbits our editors learn on a day-to-day basis while they work on the OED.
So, to kick things off… "#TodayILearned that George Orwell wasn't the first person to use 'thought crime' and 'thought police': these terms had both been used in similar senses in the 1930s, in translations from Japanese."
#TodayILearned that the song ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious‘ was the subject of a copyright infringement suit brought in 1965 against the makers of the film Mary Poppins by two songwriters who, in 1949, had released a song called ‘Supercalafajalistickespialadojus’.
(In view of earlier oral uses of the word sworn to in affidavits, and dissimilarity between the songs, the judge ruled against the plaintiffs.)
#TodayILearned that 'access' as a verb only dates back to 1953, & the usage still felt novel in 1977 when T. M. Bernstein in 'Dos, Don’ts & Maybes of English Usage' wrote: “It sounds incredible, but a friend reports that he has recently heard access frequently used as a verb...”
#TodayILearned that the 1st recorded example of the noun 'teleport' (in the sci-fi sense) comes from a story published in @timesofindia in 1878; the story anticipates many tropes associated with this hypothetical device, including the accidental merging of a person and an animal.
From said story: "In falling, the wires must have been in contact for the fraction of a second, and some portions of the currents must have gone by the wrong wires, for the man and the dog were mixed! ...
... On the hind quarters of the dog was an unmistakable black human nose, and from the face of poor Pedro hung a tail—a tail which was still wagging."
#TodayILearned that the French equivalent of ‘champagne socialism’ is ‘la gauche caviar’, literally ‘the caviar left’. An equivalent U.S. expression is ‘limousine liberal’.
#TodayILearned that the name “Art Deco”, so strongly associated with the 1920s and 1930s, is not recorded before the 1960s.
#TodayILearned that a bullshot is a cocktail made with beef consommé and vodka. The OED entry for 'bullshot' contains a 1965 quotation from Noel Coward's diary: "We sat on the verandah before lunch and introduced the Queen Mother to bullshots. She had two and was delighted."
#TodayILearned that the children’s game Simon Says can be traced back to the mid-19th-century US—originally ‘Simon’ could only give orders about what to do with your thumbs: point them up, point them down, or waggle them (it was also sometimes called ‘Simon says wiggle-waggle’).
I also discovered that ‘O’Grady Says’—the same game but with a different name for the leader—was used by drill sergeants during the First World War as a training exercise.
#TodayILearned that Nancy Mitford didn’t much like the phrase 'I would think':
#TodayILearned that golden syrup was originally a waste product resulting from the process of making refined crystallized sugar, but is now often manufactured from refined sugar itself.
#TodayILearned that the Marie Celeste was actually the Mary Celeste. 'Marie' was popularized by Arthur Conan Doyle's highly fictionalized account 'J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement', published pseudonymously in 1884; before this the abandoned ship received little public attention.
#TodayILearned that the earliest example we currently have on file of the adjective 'bitchy' is from a 1908 letter of Virginia Woolf.
#TodayILearned that in 19th-century America an ‘elevenpenny bit’ - or ‘levy’ for short - was a coin of the value of, not eleven, but 12½ cents ( = an eighth of a dollar, sometimes actually a cut-up piece of a dollar).
#TodayILearned that the adjective ‘religious’ can be applied to a horse, with the meaning ‘prone to go down on the knees’.
#TodayILearned that although the phrase 'the sun is over the yardarm' (meaning 'time for the first drink of the day') is now associated with the late afternoon, the sun was reckoned to to rise above the foreyard of a ship by 11am or noon, when the first ration of rum was served.
#TodayILearned that before writing 'The Wind in the Willows', Kenneth Grahame worked for the Bank of England and regularly advised the OED on financial terminology.
#TodayILearned that people used to drink chicken-flavoured beer. It was known as 'cock ale'.
Further to the last, it appears that Samuel Pepys was a fan of the stuff - "Thence walking with Mr. Creed homewards, we turned into a house and drank a cup of Cocke ale." (1663 S. Pepys Diary 2 Feb. (1971) IV. 32)

We also have this recipe on file from a 1743 book about brewing:
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