Image: cropped 1939 Woodbury Soap ad from an unspecified magazine via http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/beauty-and-hygiene-ads-1930s/30 .

“…a blend of celebrity and debutante. (Like many successful blends, there happens to be some phonological and graphological overlap, in this case –eb-, to help cement the connection between the two base words… The original celebutante was Brenda Frazier, whose debut into New York high society on December 27, 1938 was accompanied by unprecedented hype. The columnist Walter Winchell coined the term celebutante in Frazier’s honor, though it didn’t appear in his widely read “On Broadway” column until the following April [1939]. In a list of “Faces About Town” he included:

Brenda Frazier, who inspires a new 1-word description: Celebutante.

“(Newspaperarchive.com currently turns up at least three iterations of Winchell’s syndicated column: Charleston [W. Va.] Daily Mail, Apr. 6, 1939; [Burlington, N.C.] Daily Times-News, Apr. 7, 1939; and [Reno] Nevada State Journal, Apr. 11, 1939. The OED entry for celebutante cites the last of these.)”

Excerpts from http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/004066.html .


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