"transatlantic passage"

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Fri Apr 28 00:55:35 UTC 2006

I thought it was "middle passage" that referred to the slave trade, a
reference to the middle leg of the triangular trade route. The OED3 has a
cite as early as 1788.

Google gets 217 hits for "transatlantic passage" + slave + trade, compared
to some 138,000 for "middle passage" + slave + trade.

--Dave Wilton
  dave at wilton.net

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Arnold M. Zwicky
Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2006 1:35 PM
Subject: "transatlantic passage"

this seems to be query day...

in discussions at the Stanford Humanities Center of a fellow's
presentation on John Singleton Copley's "Boy With a Squirrel", the
question came up of who was the first to use the term "transatlantic
passage" with reference to the slave trade (or, at least, when and in
what context did it become a standard way of referring to the
carrying of slaves across the atlantic).  not in the OED, so far as i
can tell.

(yes, it's relevant to the painting.)


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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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