Irish cars [was about "car-drivingest" from 1843 & 1869]

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Jun 14 23:31:49 UTC 2010

At 6/14/2010 04:15 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 3:50 PM -0400 6/14/10, Dan Goncharoff wrote:
>>Am I the only one suspicious of "car-drivingest" from 1843? Or 1869?
>car = 'cart, wagon'?

In Ireland, more likely than 'carriage, chariot', which also I
suspect isn't much present after the 18th century.

But there is this, from car n.1,1".c., c. spec. Applied locally and
at special periods to various vehicles in particular; also with
defining words, as *Irish* car, etc."  [emphasis added.]
      1824-7 HONE Every-day Bk. II. 240 The common Irish Car is used
throughout the province of Leinster..The Irish 'jaunting car' [is a]
wholly distinct and superior vehicle.

The OED has 4 quotations for "Irish car", 1645, 1824 (the above), 1838, and --
     1911 SIR W. BUTLER Autobiog. xx. 354 He..took three or four
brace of grouse from the bag, and..put the birds in the 'well' of the
vehicle [an Irish car].

Don't ask me for a definition!



>>On 6/14/2010 3:45 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:
>>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>>Sender:       American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>>Poster:       Garson O'Toole<adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
>>>Subject:      Re: -est x3
>>>William Makepeace Thackeray used a similar humorous construction in
>>>The Irish Sketch Book. The Britannica (1911) says the Irish
>>>Sketch-Book came out in 1843. The information below is from an 1869
>>>Cite: 1869, The Irish Sketch Book: and Notes of a Journey from
>>>Cornhill to Grand Cairo, Page 236, Smith, Elder and Co., London.
>>>THE little tour we have just been taking has been performed, not only
>>>by myriads of the "car-drivingest, tay-drinkingest, say-bathingest
>>>people in the world," the inhabitants of the city of Dublin, but also
>>>by all the tourists who have come to discover this country for the
>>>benefit of the English nation.
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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