[Ads-l] "antedate" for _pothole_

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 5 21:30:00 UTC 2014

The OED attributes the first cite in the modern sense ('a depression or hollow forming a defect in the surface of a road, track, etc.') to Bret Harte, 1889.  But in "Death Comes to Pemberley", the BBC adaptation of the P. D. James novel (which came up on the list in an Anachronism Watch posting a couple of years ago for its "antedates" of _police_, _in touch_, and the especially egregious _lifestyle_), a visitor to Pemberley in what is plausibly 1803, give or take a year, complains after her carriage ride that "the road is riddled with potholes".  Take that, Harte!

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list