Navy Bean (1856, 1857, 1862)
laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Mar 31 16:16:33 UTC 2003
> I'd posted "navy bean soup," but not "navy bean."
> OED, under "navy," has a first citation of the 1897 SEARS ROEBUCK
>CATAL. It's just that bad. How's the revision?
> Merriam-Webster has 1856. I'm looking for that cite. I might
>have to go back to my 1906 beans treatise where I found "pinto" so
> Elisha Kent Kane, ARCTIC EXPLORATION (1857)(Making of
>America-Michigan Books), pg. 94:
> "First, coffee, great comforter to hard-worked men; one part of
>the genuine berry to three of navy beans;...
> 17 May 1862, SATURDAY EVENING POST (American Periodical Series), pg. 8:
> Small white navy beans will be wanted.
So this was another one of those misanalyses from childhood that I've
never bothered to correct. I always glossed this as [navy [bean
soup]], i.e. the kind of bean soup you get when you're in the navy,
when the evidence above (and in the rest of Barry's post) makes it
clear that it was [[navy bean] soup] all along. For me, it was
always something I didn't select from a restaurant or cafeteria menu
so the misanalysis hasn't really affected my life, but it's nice to
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