The first-known use of the term 'trick-or-treat' took place in Canada

Oct 31 2019, 2:55 pm

Although the tradition of dressing up and going door-to-door for treats on Halloween has been around for centuries, it’s commonly believed it wasn’t until sometime in the 20th century that the popular accompanying phrase “trick-or-treat” was coined.

And according to history buffs, the term first appeared in print in a November 3 edition of The Blackie Times, a community newspaper in the small hamlet of Blackie, Alberta, just outside the City of Lethbridge.

The full excerpt reportedly reads:

“Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.”

Regardless of its history, however, some people in Canada are questioning its future – specifically around the fact that Halloween is always celebrated on October 31.

According to a new poll conducted by Research Co., 41% of Canadians agree with moving Halloween to the last Saturday of October, while 43% disagree and 16% are undecided.

Broken down even further, the poll found that men are more likely to support observing Halloween on a Saturday than women (46% to 35%). Canadians ages 18 to 34 are more likely to support the move (46%) than those ages 35 to 54 (38%) and those ages 55 and over (39%).

“While most Quebecers welcome the idea of observing Halloween on Saturdays, the rest of the country is not as excited,” says Research Co. President Mario Canseco. “The lowest level of support for the proposed modification is observed in British Columbia.”