How did the term "flicks" come to relate to "movies" or "cinema"? Where did "flicks" come from?

closed as general reference by Hugo, Daniel, simchona, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, RegDwigнt Dec 9 '11 at 7:25

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From the flickering appearance of early movies.

As slang for "film," it is first attested 1926, a back-formation from flicker (v.), from their flickering appearance.


  • 2
    Yes. Early slang for a movie (which is itself a shortening of "moving picture") was a "flicker-show", because early film projectors had a rather large advance time between frames, in which a shutter obstructs the light source. – KeithS Jun 17 '11 at 15:48

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