Remarkable Story of the Sports Term "Upset"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Wed Jun 4 21:08:18 UTC 2003

On Wed, 4 Jun 2003, George Thompson wrote:

> Actually, on November 12, 2002, under the heading "Upset" in
> Horseracing, I submitted passages retrieved from the NYTimes online, by
> searching for the words "upset" and "racing" in the same story.  I found
> citations of "upset" used as a verb as far back as 1865, in the context
> of "upsetting the calculations, or expectations," of horse-players, and
> the following from 1877:  The coincidence that the horse that beat Man

My bad.  I looked only at the first "upset" thread on ADS-L, and missed
the second, "Shandy-Lack" thread entirely, including George's outstanding

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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