millionaires from Wall street

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Thu Nov 24 20:42:28 UTC 2011

* *

OED on "millionaire", presumably revised only a few years ago:

 *A.* *n.*

  A person whose assets are worth at least a million pounds (dollars,
etc.); a person of great wealth.

1800    tr. L. S. Mercier *New Picture
Paris*<> II.
cliv. 94   The mantua-maker who had offered her silver thimble, gave more
in fact than the millionaire.

1816    Byron *Let.*<> 23
June (1976) V. 80   He is still worth at least 50-000 pds—being what is
called here [*sc.* Evian] a ‘Millionaire’ that is in Francs & such
Lilliputian coinage.

1826    B. Disraeli *Vivian
Grey*<> I. i.
56   Were I the son of a Millionaire, or a noble, I might have all.

Here is an early citation from the U. S.:

Wallack will throw aside his morning gown and yellow slippers, and will be
seen frequently among the *Millionaires* of Wall street --

     Evening Star, August 4, 1838, p. 2, col. 2


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

The American Dialect Society -

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