cornelian; was Antedating of "Chauvinism"

Mark A. Mandel mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Wed Oct 26 22:27:47 UTC 2005

James Smith <jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM> asks:

What does "cornelian" mean here?  My dictionaries only
indicate it is an alternative spelling of "carnelian",
a gemstone or the color of that gemstone.

--- Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU> wrote:

> chauvinism (OED 1870)
> 1851 _International Magazine of Literature, Science and Art_ 1 June 373
> ff. (American Periodical Series)  Never did the _chauvinism_ of this
> present time light upon a more cornelian device, but do you not see in it
> the theatrical affectation, the melo-dramatic emphasis of another race?


Given the literary terminology in the rest of the sentence, I would look for
a Cornelius (member of the Cornelian gens) in Roman literature or history.

-- Mark A. Mandel
[This text prepared with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.]

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