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Why Do We Call Today 'Black Friday'?05:42
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Shoppers stop to look at a display while shopping at Dadeland Mall, in Miami on November 25, 2011. (Lynne Sladky/AP)
Shoppers stop to look at a display while shopping at Dadeland Mall, in Miami on November 25, 2011. (Lynne Sladky/AP)
This article is more than 2 years old.

Contrary to popular belief, the phrase “Black Friday” does not come from businesses finally being able to make a profit (getting out of the red and into the black) due to the day after Thanksgiving shopping rush.

In 2012, linguist Ben Zimmer joined Radio Boston to reveal the true origin of “Black Friday” — which includes disgruntled police officers, absentee factory workers and worried commercial retailers.

Guest

Ben Zimmer, language columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He tweets @bgzimmer.

This segment aired on November 25, 2016.

Meghna Chakrabarti Twitter Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.

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