Meanings: “Movie” and “Film”

November 2, 2012

We are about at the 100th anniversary of “movie” as a word in the English language. It’s first appearance in print came about 1912, or perhaps a little earlier, as a shortening of “motion picture.”

Film” is much older, deriving from an old Germanic word for skin or hide, “extended by 1845 to the coating of chemical gel on photographic plates.” With the coming of digitization, “film” will become a dead metaphor.

FlowingData provides a wonderful visualization of 100 years of film.  Follow the link to see a larger view. 



About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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