[Ads-l] shenanegin antedated (?) to 1854

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 5 19:56:33 UTC 2015


Here is another example of "shenanigan" from 1855. This is later than
Stephen's cite and the first OED cite, but it might still be useful.

Date: September 1855
Journal: Yankee-Notions
Volume 4, number 9
Article: The Magician and the Miner
Quote Page 280
Publisher: T. W. Strong, New York

[Begin excerpt]
An individual who had attended several evenings and witnessed the
"experiment," suspected, in the classic language of the times, that
there was something of "shenanigan" in it. He thought the probability
was, that the individual in the pit who fired the pistol was
invariably an accomplice, dressed for the nonce in miner's clothes;
and as a true, independent, self-reliant Californian, he thought he
would assume the responsibility of testing and adjusting matters for
his own satisfaction, as well as for the good of the community
generally.
[End excerpt]


On Sun, Jul 5, 2015 at 12:20 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: shenanegin antedated (?) to 1854
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> I don't think I've ever encountered a singular shenanigan.  (Aren't they =
> like Lay's potato chips?)  Interesting transitive "come" in the cite =
> too; I suppose if you can come a cropper, you can "come a shenanegan".
>
> LH
>
>> On Jul 5, 2015, at 11:03 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU> =
> wrote:
>>=20
>> OED has shenanigan from 1855, "Origin obscure." The question mark in =
> the subject line indicates that I did not check all the many known =
> spellings in every likely-suspect place. I think this antedates ads-l =
> archive and several other sites. Green's I don't have at hand. HDAS vol. =
> with S, even less at hand.
>>=20
>>=20
>> The newspaper reports on a suspected murder. Two men fought, =
> apparently a money dispute; both lost blood; one died of a knife wound. =
> The incident was reported in Daily Placer Times and Transcript, San =
> Francisco CA, "Death of Mr. Way Inquest," July 31, 1854 page 2 col. 1. =
> [Am. Hist. N.]
>>=20
>> Then on August 3, 1854 the same newspaper p. 2 col. 3 reported =
> "Examination of H. B. Atkins," the accused murderer. It reports the =
> testimony of a witness (name not reported), called by the defence, after =
> some others attested to Atkins' "excellent character," "who swore that =
> he saw Way about 7 o'clock, on Saturday evening [the night of the =
> killing], and was hailed by him; Way told him that he had just had =
> another fuss with Atkins, and that he was now going around again; he =
> thought that Atkins wanted to come the "shenanegin" over him....
>>=20
>>=20
>> Stephen Goranson
>>=20
>> =
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> oranson_&d=3DAwIFAw&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DwFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0Zp=
> W1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3D4ezUzkCbjCXkY34UjL0vPNXDTMcHuKXNLaISLHqP18A&s=3Do=
> 8IfgtqhJB6O42c7HsIoqIV3b41px4nEcUNbBVBVRp4&e=3D=20
>>=20
>>=20
>>=20
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