Howitzer (earlier points 1739 and 1759)

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 1 19:22:45 UTC 2010

I should have been clear what I meant by "ways back"... There a couple
of separate clusters--the ones with a -b- and a -w-, then each
subdividing for -a/au- and -o-. Indeed, the 1761 quote for howitzer
shell is there. However, I am not even convinced that it /does/ refer
to the shell. Here's the quote:

1761 Brit. Mag. II. 442 A..body of Russians..had begun to throw some
howitzers into that town, with an intention to set the magazines on

Not having the full context, it is hard to judge for sure, but if I
came across this statement in context, I would have assumed it
referred to the ordnance, not ammunition.

On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 9:25 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> 1)   My OED has "howitzer" from 1761, although admittedly for the
> shell rather than the gun.
> 2)   1739 -- I once read the following in the Boston Evening-Post,
> 1739 September 3, page 2, col. 1.  [Now taken from the much-ignored
> Early American Newspapers.]

The American Dialect Society -

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