OED appeals: can you help us find earlier evidence of the term ‘lock-in’?
Can you help us? OED Appeals is a dedicated community space on the OED website where OED editors solicit help in unearthing new information about the history and usage of English.
Part of the process of revising words and phrases for the OED involves searching for evidence of a word’s first recorded use in English, and for this we need your help.
Can you find earlier examples of usage of the following word? Visit the OED Appeals page to find out more, and to submit any antedating evidence.
In the United Kingdom, after a bar or pub’s doors are closed at the official or legal closing time, customers already inside are sometimes allowed to stay and continue drinking for a period of time; this is called a lock-in. The noun lock-in is attested from the late 19th century in other senses, but the earliest evidence found for this particular use is from 1991:
Here is a studio where the phrase ‘lock-out’ is heard less often than the phrase ‘lock-in’, referring to the after-hours drinking policies of the local pubs.
1991 Independent 5 Dec., p. 20/3
The elder members of the OED’s staff know from personal experience that this practice existed before 1991, but we have been unable to find earlier verifiable evidence of this term for it. Can you help us find earlier evidence of lock-in referring to a period after closing time in a bar or pub when customers already inside are allowed to continue drinking?