"Q: "show me out [something]" = show to me?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Feb 6 15:54:53 UTC 2008

In an 1845 play, I find "Oh save me! Caleb, shew me out the postern
... Bar the gates; No doubt they come to forage. Where's the postern?"

I take this to mean "show [to] me the postern; show me where the postern is."

OED2 has only, under "VI. intr. To be seen, be visible, appear,"
sense 34, "show out.  a. ? To become visible, emerge from obscurity
or concealment; fig. to exhibit one's true character," 1839 through 1888.

Does my reading seem correct, and a transitive use might be added to the OED?


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

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