Antedating of "First World War"

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Mon Jun 16 14:14:02 UTC 2014

Of course, the word "word" in Fred's quotation is ambiguous.  Does it refer (loosely) to the phrase "first world war" or just the phrase "world war" or merely the descriptor "world"?


Subject:      Antedating of "First World War"

The OED's first use for "First World War" is dated 1918.  It seems that the=
 following citation, which I have previously posted, should be mentioned at=
 least in square brackets:

1914 Ernst Haeckel in _Indianapolis Star_ 20 Sept. 37/1 (Newspaperarchive) =
 There is no doubt that the course and character of the feared "European wa=
r" ... will become the

first world war in the full sense of the word.

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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