Richard (alias "Long Dick") Chasmore

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Jul 30 16:29:45 UTC 2011

To my 21st-century eyes, the following is indelicate (the OED calls
it "coarse"), but who knows what it meant in 1656?

"In both [letters] I presented you with a Narritue of my proceeding
with one Rich: Chasmore (alias Long Dick) lately of Pawtuxet. He was
infamous for Buggerie, 2 Indians of Pawtuxet affirming [th]t they saw
him in [th]e Act the one in [th]e Winter the other in [th]e Spring."  p. 6.

The Buggerie was committed "one [i.e., on] his heifer".  p. 3.

 From a letter dated "Providence 1. 10. 56 (so calld)".  [1656;
probably December (10th month of the Old Style year), but perhaps October.]

In Bradford Fuller Swan, _The Case of Richard Chasmore alias Long
Dick_.  Providence: Printed for the Society [of Colonial Wars in the
State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations], Dec. 30, 1944.

The letter was written by ... Roger Williams.

? Antedates OED "Dick, n.1""  "3.b. The penis. coarse", 1891
(Farmer's _Slang_), and then 1929?  Well, probably not.


The American Dialect Society -

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