"covered wagon", 1754, and not the American West

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Jul 6 15:21:17 UTC 2008

"The Shah's women, and indeed others of distinction, rode on white
horses, in the manner as men ride; but when they did not go in his
company, they were usually carried on camels, seated in machines
resembling a covered waggon, [sic] and hung like panniers over a
pack-saddle, which I have already mentioned."

Jonas Hanway. _An Historical Account of the British Trade over the
Caspian Sea [etc.]_ London, Printed for T. Osborne [etc.], 1754, page 169.

The OED describes "covered wagon" as "chiefly U.S.", and its first
quotation is 1745, from J. S. Mclennan, _Louisburg_, [sic; this
should be "Louisbourg"] and pertains to the colonial and British
expedition against the fortress in Nova Scotia.  Its next is 1842,
from the American West.

The Shah is Nadir Shah of Persia, 1736-1747, commonly known in
English and American newspapers of the time as "Thamas Kouli Kan".

"Machine" here is I believe OED Draft Revision June 2008 n. sense
5.b., "A (usually wheeled) vehicle or conveyance, esp. one drawn by a
horse or horses, or other draught animal or animals"; 1687 and
following.  The early quotations are all about the eastern
Mediterranean region.


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

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