Do you know who first used the word boredom and when?
No, it wasn’t a teenager.
It was a 40 year old Portsmouth man in the year King’s Cross station opened.
I’ll stop teasing…the first recorded use of the word boredom is in they very long (and very good) novel Bleak House published in serial form in 1852. Charles Dickens used the word six times. The phrase being a bore in the sense we mean it (being tedious, dull) had been around for probably 100 years before that but this was the first time boredom was seen in print.
Source: QI and Wikiepedia (so that’s foolproof, isn’t it?)
By the way, while researching this I’ve just discovered that QI has never been broadcast on US TV and the team at QI have organised a petition demanding that the BBC do something about it. They have 14647 signatures so far.
I’ve just added my name to the petition in the spirit of neighbourliness — America you deserve QI!
photo credit: arbyreed via photopin cc