baseball cursing, 1898

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Dec 6 18:34:35 UTC 2007

At 12/6/2007 10:16 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>Whippersnappers may not appreciate the extraordinary rarity of early
>written exx. of these latterly nigh-ubiquitous terms.  Occasional
>legal testimony and the odd infuriated personal letter from an
>uninhibited writer are almost the sole sources one can find.

Is there more in the perhaps linguistically-more-unrestrained 17th
and 18th centuries than the Victorian 19th?  I am thinking of the
1665 "piss-house" (OED3), although that is from a court record, and
writings like Robert Byrd's secret diaries or Jonathan Belcher's
letters (which have been published).  Letters to 18th century
newspapers were often blunt, sometimes with barely-disguised
scatalogical connotations (I sometimes think that the only censorship
was to the names of the writers and targets).


The American Dialect Society -

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