[Ads-l] "sea-pouse": [antedating OED2, and] a word for DARE?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue May 31 20:17:40 EDT 2016


So the "sea-purse" spelling would be an early eggcorn, like "jonnycake" from "jonakin"?  Nice.  

LH

> On May 31, 2016, at 8:02 PM, Joel Berson <berson at att.net> wrote:
> 
> [Sorry, the previous letter mailed itself.]
> 
> 
> And searching the OED for "sea-poose", there are two quotations using that spelling, under "sea-Purse, n.", sense 4: "U.S. Atlantic coast.  [ < the Algonquian language Munsee (Delaware) sepoƻs, brook, small river: see Mathews Dict. Americanisms (1951).] A swirl of the undertow or a double undertow formed by two waves meeting at an angle, making a small whirlpool on the surface of the water, dangerous to bathers."
> 
> Earliest quotation 1842, so George's is a neat antedating.
> 
> Joel
> 
> 
> 
> 
>      From: Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at NB.NET>
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
> Sent: Monday, May 30, 2016 10:44 PM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "sea-pouse": a word for DARE?
> 
> On 5/30/2016 9:50 PM, George Thompson wrote:
>> *Extract of a letter from East-Hampton, (Long-Island) June 29,
>> 1788*.
>> 
>>               It is well known to many that where a sandy shore is 
>> washed by
>> the ocean, the bottom is subject to continual variation, which 
>> produce, or
>> are produced, by a kind of eddy to the waves, by which any buoyant
>> substance will be carried, sometimes with great rapidity, against the
>> swell, back to the sea.
>> 
>>               The South side of Long-Island, especially at the East 
>> end, is
>> remarkable for these reverting currents, which the natives call 
>> *sea-pouse*,
>> and cautiously avoid.
>>               Daily Advertiser (New York, N. Y.), July 10, 1787, p. 2, 
>> col. 1
>> 
>> I don't have the later vols. of DARE; it's not in the OED.
> -- 
> 
> It's in DARE (vol. 4, p. 830): "seapoose" (NY, NJ) and a few spelling 
> variants, several citations. Algonquian etymology. Meanings: (1) inlet 
> or channel connected to the sea (from 1650); (2) whirlpool, undertow 
> (from 1842). The above seems to me to be sense 2, an antedating.
> 
> -- Doug Wilson
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIFaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=6GwzjxF7Cpp72JJQmhFbOpA8IENcYoxxz1kB5Wk8Kds&s=Hmd4Lnx2ehPvhEvQa626anyN_SBtG2ZPBZ9veXUPPCE&e= 
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIFaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=6GwzjxF7Cpp72JJQmhFbOpA8IENcYoxxz1kB5Wk8Kds&s=Hmd4Lnx2ehPvhEvQa626anyN_SBtG2ZPBZ9veXUPPCE&e= 
> 

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


More information about the Ads-l mailing list