Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Attention antedaters: ‘Air guitar’

I doubt that it dates only to 1983. Also, strange to cite a Sopranos script for use of “air guitar,” isn’t it?

air guitar, v.

orig. U.S.

1. intr. To mime the action of playing a guitar, esp. to a recording or performance of rock music. Cf. air guitar n.

1983 J. McKenna & M. Moffitt Compl. Air Guitar Handbk. xii. 49 (caption) Neil Young air guitars with Joni Mitchell and Robbie Robertson in The Last Waltz. 1990 Surfer Aug. 62 Martin Potter ... air guitaring and lip-synching to the Aerosmith Run/DMC version of Walk This Way. 2003 Bang Apr. 13/1 The former Spacemen 3 leader nearly knocks his pint over while air-guitaring.

2. trans. To mime the action of playing (music) on a guitar.

1994 Toronto Sun 17 Sept. 40/2 Cocker knew the arrangements so well that on occasion he would start air-guitaring a solo a few beats before his guitarist started picking. 1999 J. Cahill Guy walks into Psychiatrist’s Office in Sopranos (television shooting script) 2nd Ser. 42 (stage direct.) He drums the wheel, air-guitars the heavy riffs. 2006 Denver Post (Nexis) 17 Nov. ff7 We had fans go and upload to YouTube their videos of them ... air guitaring the song.

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