[Ads-l] Antedating the word "slew" ' large number or quantity of something'

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Wed Jul 22 16:39:31 UTC 2015


Supplementing Jon, the OED entry (slew n.3, not yet fully updated, although first published in 1986 [sic]) has as its earliest three quotations:
1839   D. P. Thompson Green Mountain Boys II. x. 145   He has cut out a road, and drawn up a whole slew of cannon clean to the top of Mount Defiance.

[This work contains another instance of "slew" that is suggestive of something, but I don't know what:  "Why, there’s more than a hundred slew of men coming!"  (Google Books, an 1876 edition; I can't give a page citation to the 1839 edition.)]


1858   Harper's Mag. May 767/2   By gracious! three thousand dollars is a 'tarnal slue of money.

1897   R. E. Robinson Uncle Lisha's Outing i. 2   I've seen slews on 'em [sc. ducks] on the ma'shes.

Joel

      From: Michael Everson <everson at EVERTYPE.COM>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 6:39 AM
 Subject: [ADS-L] Antedating the word "slew" ' large number or quantity of something'
   
Can someone post the citations for slew (as in ‘he asked me a whole slew of questions”)? I believe we’ve got a very fine antedating.

Thanks,
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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