"as the crow flies", ? 1789

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Mar 4 22:15:16 UTC 2010

EAN has an instance published in 1808.  But the headline for the item
has "CHARACTER / Of the Spanish peasants taken from the Weekly
Entertainer for 1789, published in Europe."

I take this to mean the article was taken, not the
peasants.  WorldCat says the "Weekly Entertainer" is held by New York
University.  If this is also "The Weekly entertainer; and West of
England miscellany", the journal is held by additional libraries,
including Yale, New York Public, and Univ. of Pennsylvania.  And it
apparently is in Chadwyck-Healey's British Periodicals Collection.

Newburyport Herald [Massachusetts]; Date: 09-16-1808; Volume: XII;
Issue: 47; Page: [2].


At 3/4/2010 02:42 PM, Charles Doyle wrote:
>The OED's earliest attestation of the idiom "as the crow flies" is
>from 1800. There are a few 18th-century instances, including:
>1761  _Gentleman's and London Magazine_ 30 (Dec.) 563:  "Now the
>country which those Indians inhabit is upwards of 400 miles broad,
>and above 600 long, each as the crow flies."
>1767  _London Review of English and Foreign Literature_ 5 (Apr.)
>274:  "The Spaniard, if on foot, always traveles as the crow flies,
>which the openness and dryness of the country permits . . . ."
>There is an old joke (not as old as the 18th century, I'm fairly
>sure!):  One day a well-dressed city slicker approached a farmer
>plowing in a field.  He asked the farmer, "How far is it to the
>nearest town?"  The farmer pondered a moment, then answered, "Oh, I
>reckon it's about five miles as the crow flies."  The city slicker
>said, "Well how far is it as the crow walks rolling a flat tire?"
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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