What is the difference between upcoming vs forthcoming?

For example, which one is the correct :

Forthcoming Movies OR  Upcoming Movies

closed as off-topic by Dan Bron, Kris, Tushar Raj, ermanen, choster May 8 '15 at 15:47

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  • Hi Eilia. To be considered a good question, your post should offer proof of your research in dictionaries etc.; and pinpoint exactly which part you need help in. This will likely be closed. – Tushar Raj May 7 '15 at 15:17

I can't think of any context where there's any difference in meaning1, but it may be worth noting that OED's first citation for upcoming is 1959 (and they say the usage is "chiefly US").

Here's the evidence that the more recent upcoming has largely displaced earlier forthcoming (which in consequence might often be perceived as slightly more "formal" as well as "dated")...

1 I mean in the general sense of due to happen in the future. Obviously forthcoming also has another sense - in I wish you'd be more forthcoming it means informative, responsive, open, honest - where upcoming can't be substituted.

  • 1
    @Eilia: Well, it looks like it's about to get closed. I'd have liked to have seen whether one of the real specialists here could tell us more about why the newer form became so popular so quickly. I'm open to the possibility that people are influenced by the avoidance of ambiguity and confusion with the forthcoming = informative sense, but I think I might take some convincing. People aren't usually bothered by words that have multiple meanings in different contexts. – FumbleFingers May 7 '15 at 15:32

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