Michael McKernan mckernan at LOCALNET.COM
Wed Mar 29 05:16:25 UTC 2006

 George Thompson wrote:
>Subject:      Knickerbockers
>I was surprised to notice that the earliest that the OED has for this
>word as meaning a generic New Yorker was 1848.
>        A band of music immediately struck up a lively air, and the
>proprietor of the Flag-Staff, a genuine old Knickerbocker, threw up
>rockets from the top of this building in honor of the Club's success.
>        New-York Daily Advertiser, November 13, 1820, p. 2, cols. 1-2
>The club referred to was the Knickerbocker Club, a rowing club, which
>had won a boat race; its boat had been built by an American, the rival
>boat by an English immigrant.
>        New-York Gazette & General Advertiser, April 25, 1823, p. 3,
>col. 3  Caption to an ad.
>        The Knickerbockers on the Fourth.  ***  It [a booth selling
>food] will be highly decorated and furnished with every thing capable
>of making the Knicks smack their lips.
>        Morning Courier & New-York Enquirer, July 2, 1830, p. 2, col.
>2.  Note also the abbreviation of Knickerbocker to Knick.

I believe that Washington Irving was using the pseudonym 'Knickerbocker' by
or before 1809, when his 'History of New York...' was first published.

Michael McKernan

The American Dialect Society -

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