[Ads-l] "macocracy", 1780 & 1781, not in OED3

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 25 18:48:45 UTC 2014


Why blur the otherwise-transparent derivation by respelling _mac-ocracy"_
as the neologistically hyphen-dropped "macocracy"?

On Thu, Dec 25, 2014 at 1:36 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      "macocracy", 1780 & 1781, not in OED3
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Two occurrences, both from The Lee Papers, Vol. III,
> 1778--1782.  Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the
> year 1873.  New York: Printed for the Society, 1874.   [Google Books.]
>
> 1)  1780.
>
> ... in fact the power in ev'ry State is manifestly fallen into the
> very worst hands; in our County, in Maryland in Pennsylvania; it is
> neither a Monarchy, Aristocracy---nor Democracy, it has indeed some
> of the worst features of Theocracy, that is a few inspired Persons
> without the aid of human sense immediately by God from what they
> pretend dictate every measure---but it is rather a Mac-ocracy by
> which I mean that a banditti of low Scotch-Irish whose names
> generally begin with Mac---and who are either the sons of Imported
> Servants, or themselves imported Servants are the Lords Paramount,
> and in such wild beastly hands as these are respublica diutius stare
> not potest---God knows what is to become of us ...
>
> 1780 June 25.  Letter, Charles Lee to James Monroe.  So-identified in
> what may be a better source, _The Papers of James Monroe: Selected
> Correspondence ..._, ed. Daniel Preston, Marlena C. Delong,
> presumably vol. 2 (1776--1794) [Google Snippet].  In _The Lee
> Papers_, it's undated (seemingly after 1780 July 18 and before 1780
> Sept. 24), unsigned, to James Monroe.  _Lee Papers_, page 431.
>
> 2)  1781.
>
> I shall only observe in addition that we in Virginia live (if it can
> be call'd living) neither under Monarchy Aristocracy nor
> Democracy---if it deserved any name it is a mac-ocracy that is a
> Banditti of Scotch Irish Servants or their immediate descendants
> (whose names generally begin with Mac) are our Lords and Rulers.
>
> 1781 June 16.  Letter, Charles Lee to Robert Morris.  _Lee Papers_, page
> 457.
>
> Joel
>
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-- 
-Wilson
-----
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

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