The use of "party" as a verb.

Has been around for a while. From the Online Etymology Dictionary;

I really don’t remember the verb usage being popular until the disco era, I guess the 70s or 80s. Up till then we said “go to” or “give” a party, or something along those lines.
Maybe I lived a sheltered life. I dunno. I was born in 1945 in Bakersfield, CA and mostly lived there till around 1980, after I became aware of the common usage.
So, am I alone in my naïveté?

Seems common to me. “We were partying until 12 o’clock.”

I don’t mean now, I’m asking about when did it come into popular use.
You probably have to be old to remember back that far. :slight_smile:

Verbing weirds language.

Some people use “rage” in the same way lately. That one kind of annoys me.

That phrase weirds me out. Maybe because “weirds” isn’t a complete verb phrase, I feel like it should be “weirds out,” but language can’t be an object of weirding out because it doesn’t have emotions! :v

No thread contribution, I’m afraid. I was born in the 80s and all the cool cats who came before me already established partying.

Not sure what you mean by ‘lately’, but I definitely used this word back when I used to, uh, rage on weekends. Late 90s.

This is one vocabulary change I endorse. “Giving a party” and “going to a party” do not express the same meaning as “partying”. And I can’t offhand think of another word that expresses the same meaning.

But to address the OP, I have no recollection of how long it’s been in use.

Based on some cursory looking thru Google News Archives, it appears to have started becoming more popular as a verb in the 1950s (at least so far as an accepted journalistic usage). I found a 1935 article where it is in quotation marks, indicating that it was probably not in common journalistic usage at that time, but maybe moreso in common parlance.

I don’t remember this usage when I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, but that doesn’t prove anything. This question was partially addressed here:

Word Maven

I just checked the OED, and their earliest print citation for “party” in the sense of “To give a party; to attend a party; to have a good time. In extended use: to take drugs or drink alcohol (usually with others in a social context)” is from 1922.

ETA: The phrase “party hearty” was in use by the mid '50s, as the OED cites it as appearing in a Washington Post headline in 1955, so the use of “party” as a very was presumably fairly common by then.

I am surprised the OP had not heard this usage before the '80s, if only because the 1975 Kiss song “Rock and Roll All Nite” – a modest hit at the time, and probably one of their better-known songs today – features the line “I wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day.”

The OP did say “70s or 80s”.
But the rest of your post might explain part of my ignorance. Are a group of 9 yr/olds trying to pin a tail on a donkey while blindfolded “partying”?

Only if they’re getting smashed and toking up before cake and ice cream.

Thank you for gifting that to us.

Today “party” as a verb is generally synonymous with doing drugs.

Stop verbing nouns!


Elvin Bishop performed “Party 'till the Cows Come Home” in the early 70s, and I knew the use of the term by 1970.

That fits with my memory, and with other postings. I tried, but don’t remember if the term was in popular use while I was in the Navy, '64- '68.

It’s a euphemism. When someone asks, “Do you party,” it doesn’t necessarily mean getting together with a group of people. It usually just means getting high or drunk, and maybe some other people are around.

I will not be a party to that!