1765, "authenticated official report concerning some event, issued for the information of the public," from French bulletin (16c.), modeled on Italian bulletino, diminutive of bulletta "document, voting slip," itself a diminutive of Latin bulla "round object" (see bull (n.2)) with equivalent of Old French -elet (see -let). For use of balls in voting, see ballot (n.).
The word was used earlier in English in the Italian form (mid-17c.). It was popularized by the use of bulletin in the Napoleonic Wars as the name for dispatches sent from the front and meant for the home public (which led to the proverbial expression as false as a bulletin). The broadcast news sense of "any brief, notice or public announcement of news" is from 1925. Bulletin board "public board on which news and notices are posted" is from 1831; computer sense is from 1979.
also a.p.b., "general alarm," 1960, police jargon initialism (acronym) for all-points bulletin, itself attested by 1953 (perhaps more in detective novels than in actual police use). The notion is "information of general importance," broadcast to all who can hear it.
colloquial shortening of tonight, attested by 1918.
Present-day student notices on bulletin boards, etc., read oftener than not, "Party Friday Nite," "Meeting Tonite," "Kum Tonite," etc. [Louise Pound, "Spelling-Manipulation and Present-Day Advertising," Dialect Notes, 1923]
carnivorous Cretaceous bipedal dinosaur, 1905, Modern Latin genus name, coined by H.F. Osborn (published 1906 in "Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History" XXI, p.259) from Greek tyrannos "tyrant" (see tyrant) + -saurus. Abbreviated name T. rex attested by 1970 (apparently first as the band name).
Xerography: Inkless printing and dry photography—named "xerography," from the Greek words for "dry" and "writing"—were recently demonstrated in the United States. Described as "revolutionary" by the New York Times, xerography employs static electricity to record images on special metal plates, and dry powders to reproduce the images on other surfaces. [U.S. Department of State "Air Bulletin," No. 79, vol. 2, Nov. 17, 1948]
To be in the ballpark in the figurative sense of "within an acceptable range of approximation" is first recorded 1954, originally in the jargon of atomic weapons scientists, perhaps referring to the area within which a missile was expected to return to earth; the idea is broad but reasonably predictable dimensions. Hence ballpark (adj.) "approximate" (1967), of figures, etc.
The result, according to the author's estimate, is a stockpile equivalent to one billion tons of TNT. Assuming this estimate is "in the ball park," clearly there is valid reason for urging candor on the part of our government. [Ralph E. Lapp, "Atomic Candor," in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, October 1954]
"tedious and ineffectual person," 1935, American English carnival slang, of uncertain origin. Perhaps from jerkwater "petty, inferior, insignificant" [Barnhart, OED]; alternatively from, or influenced by, verbal phrase jerk off "masturbate" [Rawson]. The lyric in "Big Rock Candy Mountain," sometimes offered as evidence of earlier use, apparently is "Where they hung the Turk [not jerk] that invented work."
A soda-jerk (1915; soda-jerker is from 1883) is so called for the pulling motion required to work the taps.
The SODA-FOUNTAIN CLERK
Consider now the meek and humble soda-fountain clerk,
Who draweth off the moistened air with nimble turn and jerk,
[etc., Bulletin of Pharmacy, August, 1902]
1630s, "the 1,000-year period of Christ's anticipated rule on Earth" (Revelation xx.1-5); from Modern Latin millennium, from Latin mille "thousand" (see million) + annus "year" (see annual); formed on analogy of biennium, triennium, etc. For vowel change, see biennial. General (non-theological) sense of "an aggregate of 1,000 years, a period or interval of 1,000 years" is attested by 1711. Meaning "the year 2000 A.D." is attested by 1970.
[T]he men of the modern world—up to a generation ago anyway—saw 2000 as a millennial year in the light of science. Men were then to be freed of want, misery, and disease; reason and advanced technology would rule; all would finally be for the best in what would then be the undoubted best of all possible worlds. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, December 1962]
1949, American English, apparently coined from V.P., abbreviation of vice president, perhaps modeled on jeep, which was then in vogue. Introduced by Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956), Harry Truman's vice president. According to the "Saturday Evening Post," "his grandchildren, finding Vice-President too long, call him that." The magazines quickly picked it up, especially when the 71-year-old Barkley married a 38-year-old widow (dubbed the Veepess).
Barkley says word "Veep" is not copyrighted, and any vice president who wants to can use it. But he hopes not many will. [U.S. Department of State wireless bulletin, 1949]
Time magazine, tongue in cheek, suggested the president should be Peep, the Secretary of State Steep, and the Secretary of Labor Sleep.