This is the full read-only archive of the "Ask the Wordwizard" section of the original Wordwizard site. The responses to the questions originate from Jonathon Green, the compiler of the Cassell Dictionary of Slang and numerous other dictionaries.
I want to know the origin of the word "anchor" as used to describe a Television news announcer. The first TV newsroom I worked in used the short form "anncr:" to refer to the announcer in scripts. I wondered if the term "anchor" came from an attempt at pronouncing the short form "anncr" as a word unto itself. I'm sure most people believe the word anchor is used to describe the rock-steady person who "anchors" or stabilizes the newscast, but that description would better describe the newscast's producer. In reality, at most TV stations, all the "anchor" does is read a newscast which has been prepared through the hard work of many other people.ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Submitted by Steve Bone (Halifax - Canada)
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