"ultrajectine", 1730, not in OED

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Jun 25 21:44:34 UTC 2012

Thanks re Douglass to Douglas Wilson and Wilson Gray (there is surely
some mystic connection, given these names) for the pointer to
Utrecht; it's undoubtedly correct.  (And I am embarrassed about my
error: I had forgotten that Douglass studied at Edinburgh but his MD
actually was from Untrecht.)

However, the explanation is neither Douglas's first-offered (some
theological sect or issue) nor Wilson's (on the further, left side of
the (Charles) river), but something simpler (Douglas's second offer):

Samuel Mather is simply describing William Douglass as a doctor from
(having a degree from) Untrecht.  Douglass always made much of the
fact that he was the only graduated physician in Boston, and that
some other practitioners (Boylston in particular) did not have
medical degrees.  Mather's not-so-hidden message is that despite
Douglass's being/acting ultra-Untrechian he is no better than the
dockside porters, who hear and believe all kinds of rumors from
arriving travelers and sailors.


At 6/25/2012 05:03 PM, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>On 6/25/2012 4:02 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>>Subject:      "ultrajectine", 1730, not in OED
>>I have no idea what this means,* if it's a real English word, whether
>>it's derived from Latin and what it might have meant there, or is a
>>mistake -- but it's not in the OED.
>>"And I cannot but think it no Small Reflection on our Ultrajectine
>>Doctor; that he knows what the Porters say; it looks as if he were
>>acquainted with them."
>>[Samuel Mather].  "A Letter to Doctor Zabdiel Boylston; Occasion'd by
>>a late Dissertation concerning Inoculation."  Boston: Printed for D.
>>Henchman, 1730.  Page 11.  ECCO, EAI.
>>Mather's "Letter" rebukes Dr. William Douglass for his criticism of
>>Boylston and Cotton Mather.  Douglass had accused them of being
>>credulous, taking accounts of successful inoculation from African
>>slaves, which were no more believable than if they had taken
>>information from porters at the docks.  So Mather is aspersing
>>Douglass as no better than a porter himself.
>>* Unless it's related to "jactant", boastful.  Which would
>>fit.  Douglass was characterized as arrogant, disdainful of those
>>with less education than he.  (Like the Scarecrow after his
>>commencement, he had a degree -- an MD from Edinburgh.  And
>>Boylston did not.)
>I think "ultrajectine" refers to Utrecht (Latin "Ultrajectum"). It can
>refer to a certain religious group (like "Jansenist"; there is a
>Wikipedia page), and therefore it might could have been used
>metaphorically at the time, perhaps with the meaning "heretical/schismatic".
>However I note that (per Wikipedia) Douglass received his MD in Utrecht.
>This may account alone for the appellation, or there may be a
>I own myself thoroughly ignorant of religious history in general.
>-- Doug Wilson
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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