s--t and b-----

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Sep 5 17:22:31 UTC 2010

At 9/5/2010 11:02 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>"Oh, shitte!" appears (in fancifully Elizabethan spelling) in Mark Twain's
>"1601" (written ca1880).
>*1799  *Old Bailey Proceedings*  [
>http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/images.jsp?doc=179909110059]:  Now, you
>sh----n son of a b-----, where is your ten pound duck now?

I've counted dashes, and accept "shitten".  But "b-----" doesn't
allow me to accept either "bitch" or "bastard".  Unless Old Bailey
commonly used for the former the former nearly ubiquitous final
e.  Like Twain and the ubiquitous Ye Olde Shoppe.)

This is a perhaps 25% serious question -- Did Jon type an incorrect
number of dashes?  Was the original transcript imprecise?  And why is
the final letter omitted?  Or should I understand some different word?


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

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