"conventional wisdom"

Michael Quinion wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Mon Jul 10 17:41:25 UTC 2006

John Baker wrote:

> It looks like Howells used it earlier.  From William Dean Howells, April
> Hopes 438 (1888; copyright 1887) (via Google Book Search):
> <<He could not think her superfluous, and she was very good-natured.  She
> made little remarks full of conventional wisdom, and appealed to his
> judgment on several points as they drove along.>>

I can take it back a little further:

1850 International Weekly Miscellany, July 15 (Project Gutenberg) There is
close at hand the birth of a new gospel, far above the common-places of
this conventional wisdom, which hinders the progress of the human race,
and the restoration to dignity and honor of this poor body, so calumniated
by the soul.

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: wordseditor at worldwidewords.org
Web: http://www.worldwidewords.org

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

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