FirstMention.com explores the history and origins
of common products and phrases.Disco. Can anything be more ’70s than disco?

The word comes from discotheque, of course, which has been around in the French language for a looooong time.

But it’s introduction into American vernacular seems to hark back to a First Mention in this Time magazine article from July 5, 1963 which gives a pretty good definition, to boot (sans music):

Warfield’s arena was the doll-house dance floor of the exclusive Princesse, one of the 50 discothèques that currently preside over Parisian night life. La Princesse is a definitive discothèque—a private-unless-we-know-you bar that is smoky, chic and expensive.

1963. John Travolta was nine years old, and the Bee Gees didn’t exist yet, but there you have it…the discotheque was introduced to a US audience.

You can read the full Time Magazine article here.


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