When and how did the term “red-eye” start being used for night flights?

When and how did the term “red-eye” start being used for night flights?

You can check the answer of the people under the question at Quora “whats a red eye coffee

0 thoughts on “When and how did the term “red-eye” start being used for night flights?”

  1. I have a subscription to the OED online, which offers the following “first use” of the word red-eye:

    During the long California campaign, Mr. Goldwater has many times flown the same night flight to Washington. He calls it the ‘red-eye special’.
    –The New York Times, June 1964

    suggesting it may have first shown up (at least in print) during Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign.

    red-eye, n.

    When and how did the term

    edit: Mark A. Mandel has a 1938 use based on trains instead of flights! That one’s gotta take the cake.

  2. It probably began with overnight train runs. (See last bullet.) I don’t have the time to research that historically, but I seem to recall the phrase in that context from many years ago (I’m 65).

    a column from 1999: The Red-Eye to Shanghai
    a forum question, 2006: Red-Eye train or bus from LA to SanFran?
    Amtrak forum question, 2007: Acela Redeye? – Amtrak Rail Discussion

    plot summary of Red Eye (2005 South Korean film)
    1985 newspaper description of an all-night train ride by some Scottish teachers: Google News Archive Search
    This book is from 2005, but the incident described happened in 1889; can’t tell if they’re quoting a period source: Strange But True San Francisco
    (edited to add:) And here’s the best evidence I’ve found yet: a Google Books search hit that shows the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad’s “Twilight” excursion trains being called “red-eye” (p.8, col. 2, para. 2), apparently in 1938 (p. 9, col. 1) .

  3. “Red-eye” refers to your bloodshot eyes after you’ve been awake, or sleeping badly, in an airplane seat all night. The term is as old as scheduled overnight airplane flights. Here’s a reference from 1965, with a definitional tone implying that it’s an early usage:
    The term “redeye” referring to other things that make your eyes bleary, such as whiskey, go back to at least the middle of the 19th century, and probably older than that.


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