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

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Jul 6 21:31:37 UTC 2015


JL notes, from 1859: "They are...adepts at wire-working, or "shenanaging,"
as they...call it out here."

Does vol. 3 of HDAS (which I believe exists in an alternative and far
better universe) explain "wire-working"?  Green's dictionary says "wire"
means a strategem, with one citation from (as I recall) 1855.
No doubt there is but a small step from a strategem to a shenanigan.

GAT

On Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 7:41 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Ignore that.
>
> 1856, in _Calif. Historical Society Qly._  ix (1930) 62: Tryed to play
> chinanigan but couldn't make it rip.
>
> 1859, in L. R. Hafen & A. W. Hafen _Reports from Colo._ [Glendale, Calif.:
> A. H. Clarke. 1961] 195: They are...adepts at wire-working, or
> "shenanaging," as they...call it out here.
>
> 1862, in S. L. Clemens _Letters of Mark Twain_ [ N.Y.: Harper, 1917] I 202:
> Consider them all guily...(of "shenanigan") until they are proved innocent.
>
> 1870 _Putnam's Mo._ (Mar.)  298: I'd back her against the field, even
> weights and no sheenanigan for money.
>
> All spelling sic.
>
> JL
>
>
>
> On Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 7:23 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hitherto secret:
> >
> > 1856, in _Calif. Historical Society Qly._  ix (1930) 62: Tryed to play
> > chinanigan but couldn't make it rip.
> >
> > 1859, in Hafen & Hafen _Reports from Colo._ 195: They are...adepts at
> > wire-working, or "shenanaging,"
> >
> > I.e., tried to pull a fast one but couldn't make it fly.
> >
> > JL
> >
> > On Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 2:12 AM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at ix.netcom.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> >> -----------------------
> >> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> >> Subject:      Re: shenanegin antedated (?) to 1854
> >>
> >>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>
> >> No antedatings, but a few citations suggesting the word is from miners
> >> in California. Also, a couple of toponyms, which might be where the
> >> original shenanigan happened, or which might be named after the word was
> >> in currency. Last, a person "commonly called Shenanigan."
> >>
> >> 1. http://bit.ly/1S1NGHC
> >> Dictionary of Americanisms: A Glossary of Words and Phrases Usually
> >> Regarded ...
> >> By John Russell Bartlett
> >> Google dated: 1877
> >> Lists "shenanigan" as a word in California and Yale College
> >>
> >> 2. http://bit.ly/1S1NUyz
> >> Americanisms: The English of the New World
> >> By Maximilian Schele de Vere
> >> Google dated: 1872
> >> Lists "shenannigan" as "probably a purely fictitious word ... frequently
> >> heard in the South and the West, and denoting groundless bragging for
> >> the purpose of getting the better of another."
> >>
> >> 3. http://bit.ly/1ffN852
> >> Camp and Cabin: Sketches of Life and Travel in the West
> >> Rossiter Worthington Raymond
> >> Googled dated: 1880
> >> ("Shenannigan" is the miner's term for humbug.)
> >>
> >> 4. http://bit.ly/1Tfmp72
> >> The War of the Rebellion: Formal reports, both Union and Confederate, of
> >> the ....
> >> United States. War Dept, Robert Nicholson Scott
> >> Google dated: 1971
> >> "May 15, 1864, Sergeant Byrnes with a detachment of four men returned to
> >> camp from Shinanigan Mountain, having scouted on Kushka's for five days
> >> without discovering any traces of the Indians.... between Bear River and
> >> the North Fork of Mattole."
> >>
> >> 5. http://bit.ly/1KJoNA5
> >> Blog comment by Laura Cooskey
> >> 19 July 2011
> >> Buck Miner's "The Origin of Mattole" has a story on p. 103 about the
> >> name of Bunnel Prairie Creek. He says Mr. Bunnel (no first name) was the
> >> blacksmith in a location between Upper Mattole and Honeydew who took in
> >> the orphaned survivor of the Squaw Creek massacre, who then, via Mike
> >> Schallard of Shenanigan Ridge, ended up in Bear River area adopted by
> >> the Morrison family.
> >>
> >> 6. http://bit.ly/1IDPPc7
> >> Shenanigan Campground, perhaps in Yuba County, CA
> >>
> >> 7. http://bit.ly/1H2mmE9
> >> Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zool?ogy at Harvard College,
> Volume 6
> >> Front Cover
> >> Harvard University. Museum of Comparative Zoology
> >> Google dated: 1880
> >> Immediate opposite Spanish Dry Diggings, on the other side of the river,
> >> at a place known as Shenanigan Hill, ....
> >>
> >> 8. http://bit.ly/1HGQdpt
> >> Annual Report
> >> U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey
> >> Google dated: 1911
> >> Chaparral Mountain (Humboldt County, Cal. A. F. R., 1871).--On what is
> >> called the Shenanigan Hill, a peak of the Punta Gorda Ridge.
> >>
> >> 9. http://bit.ly/1giFZ4c
> >> Congressional Series of United States Public Documents, Volume 2027
> >> U.S. Government Printing Office
> >> Google dated: 1882
> >> I seized from the man commonly called Shenanigan, on barrel of mash,
> ....
> >>
> >>
> >> Benjamin Barrett
> >> Formerly of Seattle, WA
> >>
> >> Learn Ainu! https://sites.google.com/site/aynuitak1/home
> >> > ADSGarson O'Toole <mailto:adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> >> > July 5, 2015 at 12:56 PM
> >> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> >> > -----------------------
> >> > Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >> > Poster: ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> >> > Subject: Re: shenanegin antedated (?) to 1854
> >> >
> >>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> >
> >> > 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]
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >> >
> >>
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >
>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998..

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