Etymological Fun

Not a real Victorian card. (I hope that is obvious.)
I recently researched "belated" as in "belated birthday." I discovered that the term was not commonly used before the 20th century.

It did exist before the 20th century. In the 17th century, it meant "overtaken by darkness" which makes any such birthday sound like a post-apocalyptic event.

On the assumption that even the Victorians must have sent birthday cards late, I did some research.

1950s card.
And . . . as far as I could tell--no, they didn't.

The craze for "oops, I forgot" cards seems to have taken off in the 1950s, which dovetails with the increased use of the word "belated."

Real Victorian card
So I guess the Victorians figured a person was lucky to get a card, no matter when it arrived.

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