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?
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.
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 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.”
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.