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Odeon.

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JQW
680129.  Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:35 am Reply with quote

Oscar Deutsch was not responsible for concocting the name Odeon. Deutsch established his cinema chain in the late 1920s with the advent of the talkies, and it's said that Odeon was an abbreviation for Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation.

The Odéon theatre in Paris pre-dates the cinema chain by many years, having first used that name in 1796. The name Odeon was also used in the UK prior to the cinema chain by a record label.

 
samivel
680153.  Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:42 am Reply with quote

The word odeon goes back further than 18th century Parisian theatres; it was used in Ancient Greece for buildings that housed singing competitions.

Welcome, btw :)

 
suze
680170.  Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:18 pm Reply with quote

Oscar Deutsch was born in Birmingham. But from which country had his father moved there?

 
Zebra57
680360.  Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:15 pm Reply with quote

Oscar Deutsch was born in 1893 and was the son of an emigre Hungarian Jew. He was schooled in Birmingham and together with Sir Michael Balcon and Victor Saville (both from Birmingham) could be considered as the founding fathers of the British Cinema Industry.

The original Odeons were the popular amphitheatres of ancient Greek entertainment. The name Odeon was used in France and Italy before Deutsch used it in the UK for his first cinema in Brierley Hill near Dudley (then in Worcestershire). Deutsch never claimed to have invented the name ODEON.

"Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation" was simply the publicity of a fine business brain and master showman.

 
suze
680674.  Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:14 pm Reply with quote

Well done Zebra - I'd kind of hope someone would say "Germany", thereby enabling me to make strange noises in their direction!

 
Sadurian Mike
680711.  Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:15 pm Reply with quote

JQW wrote:
Oscar Deutsch was not responsible for concocting the name Odeon. Deutsch established his cinema chain in the late 1920s with the advent of the talkies, and it's said that Odeon was an abbreviation for Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation.

I have learned to be very suspicious of any claims for words/names being pre-WWII acronyms. I'm sure that suze can clarify, but I understand that acronyms were almost unknown before WWI and still very rare before WWII.

 
brunel
680845.  Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:36 pm Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
JQW wrote:
Oscar Deutsch was not responsible for concocting the name Odeon. Deutsch established his cinema chain in the late 1920s with the advent of the talkies, and it's said that Odeon was an abbreviation for Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation.

I have learned to be very suspicious of any claims for words/names being pre-WWII acronyms. I'm sure that suze can clarify, but I understand that acronyms were almost unknown before WWI and still very rare before WWII.

I've heard the term backronym being used commonly to describe many of those words where somebody has come along later and made up an acronym which fits.
It's true that acronyms are pretty rare before the 1940's, although a few early ones exist. I believe "AWOL" for 'absent without leave' is true, and comes from WW1 (and I would guess that most of the true early acronyms come from the military, since they seem to be quite popular there).

 
suze
680862.  Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:04 pm Reply with quote

No indeed, acronyms weren't common in the Olden Days. We've discussed this once or twice before - see post 251881, for instance - and the earliest acronym known in English seems to date from 1886.

As brunel suggests, a lot of the earliest acronyms were military - AWOL seems to be American and go back to the 1920s, while ANZAC goes back to 1915.

Coming back to Oscar Deutsch though, the company really did use the phrase Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation in its publicity, but that came after he started cinemas called Odeon - it's not, as is sometimes claimed, the reason he used the name.

 
Zebra57
680926.  Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:45 pm Reply with quote

Suze is spot on. Deutsch was a master of publicity and the phrase "Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation" would have been widely known to the cinema going public in the 1930s.

 
brunel
681294.  Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:22 pm Reply with quote

I'm glad to see that I was on the right track - for a moment, I was expecting suze to have got the klaxon out and ready for use on my statement.
But certainly Oscar Deutsch was a master of publicity - it's no surprise that his business was so successful.

 
Droid
681526.  Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:22 am Reply with quote

So Odeon is an example of a backronym then.
I once saw one for mouse, but can't remember it. I think it began with manual.

 
masterfroggy
681542.  Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:43 am Reply with quote

Droid wrote:
So Odeon is an example of a backronym then.
I once saw one for mouse, but can't remember it. I think it began with manual.
Manually-Operated User-Selection Equipment

 
Droid
681592.  Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:18 am Reply with quote

Ah yes. That's the fellah!

 
Posital
681851.  Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:49 pm Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
but I understand that acronyms were almost unknown before WWI and still very rare before WWII.
Are you hinting that WWI wasn't originally called WWI? Perhaps it was something ridiculous like... The Great War, or The War to End All Wars?

lol

 
Sadurian Mike
681852.  Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:52 pm Reply with quote

That would just be silly....

 

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