"prissy," 1842 (?)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Jul 19 13:50:04 UTC 2008

rornouYears ago George submitted the following description of Martin "Old Kinderhook" Van Buren as a seeming 1842 ex. of "prissy": 
"Time has been merciful to him. He looks more fresh and prissy than ever we saw him, excepting that his locks are a little more like those of his 'illustrious predecessor,' being whitened by the snows of a few more winters." >From the New Orleans Daily Picayune, of April 12 or 15, 1842, perhaps citing the Natchez Free Press; as cited in Ralph M. Aderman & Wayne R. Kime, Advocate for America: The Life of James Kirke Paulding, Selingrove: Susquehanna U. Pr., 2003, p. 272 and footnote 18, p. 383.

After a passage of  only several years it occurs to me that this is a misprint or erroneous transcription of _pursy_, "corpulent" (thought to be a *good* thing by our forebears).
Less likely: metathesis of the same.
Just a thought.

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

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