Friday, October 29, 2004

Today's OED antedating: "nothing doing"

Nothing doing, slang, flat refusal ("do," v., sec 34 (c), first use cited 1910): Short story titled "According to Their Lights," by O. Henry, aka W. S. Porter, collected in The Trimmed Lamp (And Other Stories of the Four Million), 1906, pp 187-88: "[Y]our uncle ... expects that the engagement between you and Miss Vanderhurst shall be ... 'I authorize you to report that there is "nothing doing." Good night.'"