Bull Market


FirstMention.com explores the history and origin of
common products and phrases.

“Buy low, sell high”. Classic investing advice, especially during a Bull Market, when stocks rise at a fast and furious pace, as they did during the great technology boom of the 1990’s (Ahhh…those were the days).

But just when did the term Bull Market come to describe such a profit-making wonderland? The Oxford English Dictionary cites an early use of the phrase from an 1891 publication, Century Magazine.

But our own research turns up a FirstMention much earlier, dating back to the February 7, 1859 issue of the New York Times.

Of course, finding the FirstMention of Bull Market, and understanding why it occured are two different things. Why were those Jobbers so well-balanced? It’s not easier to fathom why the markets of 1859 were bullish, than it is understanding the ups and downs of the markets today.

The italicization of Bull in the article suggests this to be a relatively new term for the readers of 1859, that the paper wanted to call attention to. But the absence of an explanation also suggests the term was already fairly familiar to readers at this time.

And to investors everywhere…may all your markets be full of Bull.


Our FirstMention research is carried out in many sources, including historical newspaper archives, online family history records, state archives, and old books.