Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Oct 10 00:12:25 UTC 2012

On Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 1:04 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
> See OED trench, v., 7b (although no recent hits; but legal language is notorious for preserving earlier usage, e.g. "without let or hindrance"):
> 7.
>  b. to trench on or upon : To encroach or infringe (however slightly) on or upon a region which is the domain of another. †to trench too near , to trench too nigh , = to come dangerously near infringing upon (obs.).
> 1622   J. Mabbe tr. M. Alemán Rogue ii. 15   The King..being desirous to know, if any man of worth had presumed so farre to trench vpon what he had done.
> 1629   N. Carpenter Achitophel (1640) ii. 78   [It] seems to me to trench too farre on Gods Prerogative.
> a1633   Visct. Falkland Hist. Edward II (1680) 59   Nor may you trench too near your Soveraigns actions.
> 1647   N. Bacon Hist. Disc. Govt. 98   They would not allow their secular affaires to trench too nigh that daies devotion.
> a1657   G. Daniel Trinarchodia: Richard II ccc, in Poems (1878) III. 212   But least my running Tent may Trench vpon Another's feild, I fixe my Pole downe here.
> 1799   J. Robertson Gen. View Agric. Perth 553   This scheme..may seem to trench on the liberty of individuals.
> 1865   C. Merivale Hist. Romans under Empire (new ed.) VIII. lxiv. 116   He trenches a little on the night,..but no one finds the time long.
> 1866   Mrs. H. Wood St. Martin's Eve xiii,   Though I squandered my own property, I have not trenched on yours.

A trenchant response!

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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