spicing horses

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sat Feb 15 16:51:19 UTC 2014

The revision of the OED must be marching towards "spice".

At present, the OED has:
Spice, verb, transitive, 2
*d.* To dose (a horse) with spice in order to mislead the buyer.
1841   J. T. J. Hewlett *Parish Clerk* I. vii. 111   [He] knew nothing of
spicing a horse, or giving him a ball.

An appr. 25 year antedating:

. . . many coachmen and grooms . . . are continually administering
pernicious drugs or medicines, or what is called *spicing* horses, which
has a tendency to inflame the blood. . . .
            National Advocate, July 25, 1818, p. 2, col. 4


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

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

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