Humbug You Say?

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Humbug You Say?

I posted that link earlier to the latest Google creation that scans years, and years worth of books and measures usage over that time (maybe too simplistic an explanation).

Since it is almost Christmas, let’s take a look at how the “holiday spirit” has fared over time.  There seems to be some good news, as Humbug usage has enjoyed a steady decrease since a high around 1870.  Lot’s of Scrooge activity around then?

In other Christmas news, the phrase “Happy Holidays” has beaten “Merry Christmas” soundly since the dawn of time (or at least what’s being measured for our purposes).  During World War 2 there was a definite uptick in usage which is interesting.

There you have it.

December 20th, 2010|Categories: Books|Tags: , , |2 Comments


  1. bmj2k December 20, 2010 at 10:37 PM - Reply

    I’m having a good time charting 1970 slang there.

  2. skinner December 21, 2010 at 8:27 PM - Reply

    It’s amazing that you can see Humbug immediately start to build after A Christmas Carol. I think we just hit max humbug in 1870.

    What the heck is going on with Happy Holidays though? What was the big push in WW2 about? I’d be interested to see if there was maybe an advertising campaign that brought it into the public eye.

    Also, what happened between 1890 and 1910? This thing needs to be linked to a wikipedia chronology or something.

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