_discover himself to me_

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Fri Dec 5 13:51:30 UTC 2008

On Dec 5, 2008, at 2:31 AM, David Metevia wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       David Metevia <djmetevia at CHARTERMI.NET>
> Subject:      _discover himself to me_
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I am currently reading _FRANKENSTEIN_ and this sentence seems odd:
> I did not doubt but that the monster followed me and would discover
> himself to me when I should have finished, that he might receive his
> companion.
> I would have expected _reveal_ and not discover.

an older sense of "discover".  the OED has for sense 3a 'To disclose
or expose to view (anything covered up, hidden, or previously unseen),
to reveal, show.  Now rare.'  cites from c1450 through 1882.  and more
specifically, sense 6 (arch.) 'To reveal the identity of (a person)'
-- with a 1726 cite of "discover'd herself to me" and a 1865 cite of
"discovering himself to them".


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