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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

On the Track of 'Trick or Treat'

A genealogist thinks he's found the first two appearances of the phrase "Trick or treat" in print.

In his research for his Wikipedia entry on trick-or-treat, writer Steven Dhuey traced the term to the Nov. 2, 1934, editorial [in The Helena (Montana) Independent] and also to a story that ran Nov. 1, 1934, in the (Portland) Oregon Journal. Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, that is written and edited by volunteers.

"It's interesting to me that that corner of the country had the two earliest references to the term," Dhuey said from his home in Toledo, Ohio. "It makes you think, was there a certain ethnic group that dominated the area?"

Dhuey, also a law student, professional genealogist and author of more than 300 Wikipedia entries, said that it's notable to consider the number of Scottish immigrants in Oregon and Montana at the time. According to 1930s Census data, these two states had healthy concentrations of Scottish immigrants. [Link]

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