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Ok, we appear to have a search for the first. The cartoon came out in 1982
so there's 9 preceding years up for grabs...
On Thu, 23 Mar 2006 Ken.Carpenter@dmns.org wrote:
Sorry, but I used the term years before Bakker: at the 1993 SVP meeting
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf
Of Allan Edels
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:00 AM
Subject: RE: Thagomizer
The first usage of the term (outside of Gary Larson), as far as I know,
was in a talk by Bob Bakker, in 1998*, while describing a hole in an
allosaur bone, that he said just fit the spike of a stegosaur. He
concluded that the allosaur had been hit by a Thagomizer. Got quite a
few laughs from the mostly professional/semi-professional
paleontological crowd. (Obviously fans of Larson).
* => That's when I heard him speak at the DinoFest Symposium 1998
(Philadelphia, PA, USA). IIRC, he may have given the same speech (or
similar) in the months prior to that event.