[Ads-l] "antedate" for _pothole_

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 5 21:41:09 UTC 2014

Isn't the term "pot hole", referring to a geological feature defined as a
deep round hole, much older than 1889? If so, it seems to me to bring the
Harte sourcing into question.


On Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 4:30 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      "antedate" for _pothole_
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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!
> LH=
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