overlie [Was: co-sleeping]

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Jan 7 17:37:05 UTC 2012

At 1/7/2012 11:51 AM, George Thompson wrote:
>I note the near 300 year gap (?)  [1530--1803]

Perhaps because:

"The Child is overlain, says one. The Nurse has overlain the Child.
This is not good English : For Overlain belongs to the Verb Overlie,
not to the Verb Overlay : And yet Overlay is the Verb used where
Mention is made of a Nurse's pressing and smothering a Child.  [Etc., etc.]"

Robert Baker, Remarks on the English Language, 1770, p. 35.  GBooks.

:-)  (Nevertheless, there are a few interdatings.)


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

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