station master (1853)

Orin Hargraves orinkh at CARR.ORG
Thu Jun 5 11:28:41 UTC 2003

US dicts identify this compound, now spelled solid, as an Americanism. MW10
gives 1856, which I understand is slightly improved on in MW11. There are two
earlier cites in the MOA archive: one from Henry Stephens (1853), in "The
farmer's guide to scientific and practical agriculture", and one from Harriet
Beecher Stowe (1854), in "Sunny memories of foreign lands."

OED2 does not concede American provenance to the term and gives its first
quote from novelist Wilkie Collins (1857). There is a false positive hit from
David Copperfield (1849), where Uriah Heep utters "how little you think of the
rightful umbleness of a person in my station, Master Copperfield!"

--Orin Hargraves

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