[Ads-l] Antedating of "American" (Inhabitant of America, of European Descent)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 27 14:22:40 UTC 2015


John's explanation is far more plausible than the idea that someone
might be talking about "English Americans" more than a decade before
the settlement of Jamestown.

On Wed, May 27, 2015 at 10:08 AM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:
>
> Does the larger context make it clear that the meaning is English-Americans?
>  Because a plausible reading is "The cold Finlanders once might visit Africans,
> The Spanish [might visit] Indians, the English [might visit] Americans,
> Without interpreters."
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of=
>  Shapiro, Fred
> Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 7:20 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Antedating of "American" (Inhabitant of America, of European Desce=
> nt)
>
> American (OED, 2., 1648)
>
> 1595 Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas _Babilon_ 23 (Early English Books Online)
>  The cold Finlanders once might visit Africans, The Spanish Indians, th'
>  English Americans, Without interpreters.

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