"beyond the pale"

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sun Jan 2 23:47:50 UTC 2011

> Check it out in the OED.
> Joel

I did check it out in the OED, which claimed to have never heard of the expression.
I see that putting words into quotes gets it terribly confused.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
Date: Sunday, January 2, 2011 1:26 pm
Subject: Re: "beyond the pale"

> At 1/2/2011 11:51 AM, George Thompson wrote:
> >My impression is that "beyond the pale" refers
> >to the Pale of Settlement that separated the
> >English from the barbaric Irish in 17th C Ireland.
> You are incorrect in that "beyond the pale"
> *also* refers to being outside the Russian Pale
> of Settlement, from probably the late 19th
> century on.  Google "Pale of Settlement" (quoted)
> + "Jews" and see the many uses.  This sense is absent from the OED.
> It also refers to "The territory of Calais in
> northern France when under English jurisdiction
> (1347–1558)", and in fact this use in English
> appears c1453, antedating by 100 years the use
> with reference to Ireland (a1549), which of course is before the 17th
> century.
> Check it out in the OED.
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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