Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 11 23:33:10 UTC 2011

I first passed over this, as it did not seem significant, but then I
checked "awning" in the OED and found "a word of obscure origin". This
particular spelling is not evident elsewhere, so it may just be a typo
(and consider the source!).
The Scots Magazine. Volume 1(2). February 1739
  The Case of Richard Copithorne, sole owner and master of the ship
Betty Galley. p. 81/2
> Having thus resolv'd, they kept the prisoners on board the privateer
> fourteen hours, without a drop of fresh water to relieve them ; which
> oblig'd two of them in that time to drink salt water several times :
> and supplied Mr. Copithorne with no other sustenance than bread and
> fishbones from the Captain of the privateer's table ; neither would
> they grant hi a little spirits to wash his wounds, nor in the heat of
> the day allow him the benefit of the arning which the had to keep off
> the scorching sun, but draw'd it aside on purpose to torment him with
> the heat ; which (being naked) blister'd his body in a most dismal
> manner, and the cold dew of the night falling afterwards, gave him as
> much uneasiness as the wounds he received in the engagement.

This account is repeated verbatim in 1742 parliamentary papers.

This is not the only citation.
The British Empire in America: Containing the History of the Discovery,
Settlement, Progress and State of the British Colonies on the Continent
and Islands of America. Vol. II. Second Edition. [By Mr. Oldmixon
(John)]. 1741
History of Jamaica. 1739. Of Porto Bello. p. 384
> One Shot struck away the Stern of the Barge, another broke a large
> Gun, on the upper Deck, a third went thro' the Foretopmast, and the
> fourth thro' the Arning, within two Inches of the Mainmast, and beat
> down the Barricado of the Quarter Deck very near the Admiral's Person,
> killing three Men and wounding five...

The above account shows up earlier:
The London Magazine. April 1740
["The next speech was made  in Favour of the Bill, by M. Valerius
Corvus, and was in Substance thus ... p. 171]. Of the Action at Porto
Bello. p. 176/1

The Weekly Amusement, &c. July 26, 1735
An Historical and Critical Account of the Largeness and Extent of the
City of Constantinople. Letter I. From a Gentleman in Constantinople, to
his Friend in London. p. 979/1
> The Grand Seignior returned from his palace up the canal to the
> Seraglio at four in the morning, we saluted him with twenty-one guns
> as he passed by our ship ; nine fine barges followed him with his
> women, they all rowed close by our ship, under an arning, that it was
> impossible to see any of them ; and when they landed there was a
> canopy or arch fixed, which was joined to the barge, for them to walk
> under, for two or three hundred yards, to a coach that shut up close ;
> so that nobody could see any of them.

These three passages shed no light on the etymology, but they do show a
spelling that is distinct from those already accounted for. There
appears to be no plausible ARN- connection--at least, not one I'm aware
of. So it may be just an odd phonetic spelling (non-rhotic? but that
would be odd for Scotland...).


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list