"Cave Nullo cock" (of a hat, that is; ignore any chili peppers)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Sep 27 15:02:12 UTC 2011

I remember when high-brim'd Hats were in the Mode, she insisted on an
Elevation of my Beaver of near half an Inch, with a Fierce Cave Nullo Cock.

New York Mercury, 1757 Jan. 31, page 3, col. 1.

Postdates OED2 "Kevenhuller" sense a.  -1746.  (Due I think to a
stylistic quirk of the OED, as explained to me by Jesse, all the
quotations appear under sense b., whereas the 1746 pertains to sense a.)

The amusing article containing this quotation is excerpted
extensively in Mary Caroline Crawford's _Social Life in Old New
England_ (1914), pp. 222-226.  Crawford presents it as factual,
whereas I sense a satire, written in the style of London magazines of
the period.


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

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