Antedating of "Realpolitik"

Shapiro, Fred Fred.Shapiro at YALE.EDU
Thu Dec 27 15:32:42 UTC 2007

Here is an earlier citation:

1895 _Times_ 3 Dec. 5 (Times Digital Archive)  Dr. Forster [umlaut over o] ... appears to be one of the rare survivors of a period when the old-fashioned idealism of the German character had not yet been superseded by what is now called "realpolitik," or, as Professor Delbruck [umlaut over u] more bluntly puts it, by "policemanship."

Fred Shapiro

From: Jesse Sheidlower [jester at]
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2007 9:34 AM
To: Shapiro, Fred
Cc: American Dialect Society
Subject: Re: Antedating of "Realpolitik"

On Thu, Dec 27, 2007 at 08:32:00AM -0500, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> realpolitik (OED 1914)
> 1911 _Economist_ 14 Oct. 762 (Economist Historical Archive)
> Thus the spirit of Bismarckian _realpolitik_, with its open
> distrust and contempt for moral forces and principles,
> became very quickly so dominant in the Italian mind that
> anyone who takes, or professes to take, some accoutn of
> unselfish motives and universal interests is too readily
> stamped as a hypocrite or a fool.

We now have a 1908 example in the draft version of this entry.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

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