wild about Rappaccini's daughter

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Feb 13 15:36:14 UTC 2008

At 2/13/2008 09:38 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>OED has "wild," 11.c, from Jane Austen "a1817."  Yet it lacks any
>U.S. exx. (as far as I can tell) and has no ex. constr. with "about"
>till 1868.  Tsk.
>   1844 Nathaniel Hawthorne in _The United States Democratic
> Review_  (Dec.) 549: You have heard of this daughter, whom all the
> young men in Padua are wild about.

Hmph!  How did I miss that in my thorough reading of all of
Hawthorne's short stories about 5 years ago?  (I'm waiting anxiously
for Hawthorne's "salt" = experienced sailor to enter OED3, antedating
Dana's _Two Years Before the Mast_ by five years.)

But a search of the OED2 CD-ROM turns up, under "stark, a. and adv.":

a1721 Prior _Poems, Cromwell & Porter_ 281 You may study among the
Law givers without being stark wild about Ordinances and Proclamations.

Not American, though.


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

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