Antedating of "Unemployment"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Jun 7 11:19:35 UTC 2014

This is a particularly nice antedating in view of the discussion by E. P. Thompson in The Making of the English Working Class, in which Thompson says he has seen usages of the word "unemployment" earlier than the OED's first use (although he does not give any citations).

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Laurence Horn [laurence.horn at YALE.EDU]
Sent: Friday, June 06, 2014 9:43 PM
Subject: Re: Antedating of "Unemployment"

99 years!  Wow.


On Jun 6, 2014, at 9:39 PM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:

> unemployment (OED 1888)
> 1789 _Norfolk Chronicle_ 12 Dec. 2 (British Newspapers 1600-1950)  To contemplate the contingency of unemployment -- the helplessness of disease -- and the infirmities of age, without the dread of becoming a burden to their friends and families, or of sacrificing their independence by drooping under the subsistance of the poor-rate, which such salutary and well-regulated institutions might much reduce, and consequently promote the general prosperity [etc.]
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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