Antedating of "Fan"

Geoffrey Nunberg nunberg at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Tue Jan 6 05:07:37 UTC 2004

Apart from the contemporaneous etymological reconstructions cited in
Shulman's article in American Speech, is there any evidence of
'fanatic' actually having been used in this sense before 1886?

Geoff Nunberg

>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Gerald Cohen <gcohen at UMR.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: Antedating of "Fan"
>   At last summer's annual meeting of SABR (Society for American
>Baseball Research), Peter Morris spoke on the origin of the term
>"fan" and won the Society's award for the best paper presented at the
>conference. He plans to publish it, although I'm not sure which
>journal he's selected. The appearance of the article will of course
>be warmly welcomed.
>Gerald Cohen
>At 6:56 AM -0500 1/5/04, Fred Shapiro wrote:
>>OED and HDAS have 1889 as their earliest citation for the modern word
>>_fan_ 'fanatic.' I believe that Barry Popik and David Shulman have pushed
>>this back to 1887 in articles in American Speech and Comments on
>>Etymology.  Here is earlier from
>>1886 _Sporting News_ 31 May 5 (  The Boston fans explain
>>the poor playing of their nine so far by saying that Radbourne does not
>>get effective until June, while Buffinton has had a lame shoulder, Sam
>>Wise has been sick and Burdock has been slow about getting down to work.
>>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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