Etymology
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headline (n.)
1670s, from head (n.) in sense "heading of a book or chapter" (c. 1200) + line (n.). Originally a printers' term for the line at the top of a page containing the title and page number; used of the lines that form the title of a newspaper article from 1890, and transferred unthinkingly to broadcast media. Headlinese "language peculiar to headlines" is from 1927. Headlines "important news" is from 1908.
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headliner (n.)
1891, "one who writes newspaper headlines;" 1896 as "one who stars in a performance;" from headline + -er (1).
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subhead (n.)
"smaller heading or title in a book, chapter, newspaper, etc.," 1875, from sub- + head (n.) in the sense of "heading, headline." Meaning "subordinate section of a subject" is from 1670s.
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jab (n.)
1825, "a thrust or poke with the point of something," from jab (v.). Meaning "a punch with the fist" is from 1889. Sense of "injection with a hypodermic needle," once beloved by newspaper headline writers, is from 1914.
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screamer (n.)

1712, "one who or that which screams," agent noun from scream (v.). As a type of bird by 1773. By 1831 as "something excellent or exciting." In newspapers, "a large headline" (1890).

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solon (n.)
"legislator," 1620s, from Greek Solon, name of early lawgiver of Athens, one of the seven sages. Often, especially in U.S., applied (with perhaps a whiff of sarcasm) by journalists to Congressmen, township supervisors, etc. It also is a useful short headline word.
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calculator (n.)

late 14c., "mathematician, one who calculates," from Latin calculator, from calculatus, past participle of calculare "to reckon, compute," from calculus "reckoning, account" (see calculus). Of mechanical adding machine contraptions, from 1784. Of electronic ones, from 1946.

Electronic calculator uses 18,000 tubes to solve complex problems [Scientific American headline, June 1946]
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smash (n.)

1725, "hard blow," from smash (v.). Meaning "broken-up condition" is from 1798; that of "failure, financial collapse" is from 1839. Tennis sense is from 1882. Meaning "great success" is from 1923 (Variety magazine headline, Oct. 16, in reference to Broadway productions of "The Fool" and "The Rise of Rosie O'Reilly").

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payola (n.)

"graft" (especially to disc jockeys from record companies to play their music), 1938 (in a Variety magazine headline), from pay off "bribery" (underworld slang from 1930) + ending from Victrola, etc. (see Pianola). Compare also plugola "surreptitious promotion of a person or product for a bribe" (1959), from plug (n.) in the advertising sense.

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ABC (n.)

also a-b-c, late 13c. (spelled abece) from the first three letters of it taken as a word (compare alphabet, abecedary, Old French abecé, abecedé "alphabet," 13c.). Sense "rudiments or fundamentals (of a subject)" is from late 14c. As a shortening of American Broadcasting Company from 1944 (in a Billboard magazine headline), earlier of Australian Broadcasting Corporation (1931). Related: ABCs.

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