Learn when a word was first used in print with Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler feature


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/13/learn-when-a-word-was-first-us.html


#2

1855 was a good year!

ambisexual
Andean Condor
backstabbing
bandaged
bouillabaisse
Francophobe
Hiawatha


#3

So crazy! I discovered this by accident earlier today when Mrs. Hungryjoe and I were arguing about how old the word “natch” is. Neat tool.


#4

Interesting that the OED says it was from 1945 - “1945 L. Shelly Hepcats Jive Talk Dict.” (in the sense you’re using it anyway - the OED adds other definitions: “An incision, a nick, a groove; a notch” from 1570, “Ceramics. A projection and corresponding notch by which two complementary sections of a pottery mould are held together” from 1941, and “on the natch: not on drugs; without taking narcotics” from 1969.).

I far prefer the OED for the deep dig into english and for actually giving the source from which they derived the date, but the problem is you need a subscription to access it.


#5

I’m finding it very handy with my Regency Romance writing. Cucumber frames? Nope. The penny dropped? No it didn’t. There should be a plugin app so you can enter your year and have all the anachronistic words flagged.

Actually, a lot of authors should use it. sigh


#6

Many words were in spoken use for decades or even longer before they passed into the written language.

Prove it.


#7

I’m getting a 404 not found message when I try to go to the front page?


#8

I like collections of fusty old words.


#9

I far prefer the OED for the deep dig into english and for actually giving the source from which they derived the date, but the problem is you need a subscription to access it.

Back in the day in grad school, we students were urged to join the Book of the Month Club because it was offering the compact edition of the OED at an affordable price. It came with a magnifying glass because of its ridiculously small type.

It’s the only remnant of grad school that I treasure.


#10

Or you can just keep all 20 volumes on yer bookshelf. You know, in case you never grew out of flipping lovingly through the dictionary’s pages. :slight_smile:


#11

recently discovered that my public library card allows offsite access to all sorts of databases, including the OED.


#12

Better than https://books.google.com/ngrams ?


#13

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