[Ads-l] The _third degree_ antedating (?)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Oct 23 04:07:45 EDT 2016


Robin Hamilton wrote:
> Different text, earlier printing, wrong publication date.

Thanks for double-checking the date, Robin. The first link below
points to the title page of the book I consulted. The title page has
the date 1887 printed at the bottom. Scrolling to the next page shows
1887 as the date for the copyright. Based on that information I
concluded that the book was published in 1887.

Year: 1887
Title: Recollections of a New York chief of police
Author: George W. Walling.
Publisher: New York, Caxton Book Concern, Limited
Quote Page 189
Database: HathiTrust Full View

http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t3bz6351m
http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t3bz6351m?urlappend=%3Bseq=197

I do not see the 1888 date. Perhaps we are looking at different books?

Garson

> [Apologies, especially to Garson, but I simply couldn't resist beginning
> with the above line, which is an inference, and may be wrong.  Reasoning
> follows.]
>
> Worldcat reads as follows for several of what they allege is the earliest
> edition:
>
> Walling, George W. Recollections of a New York Chief of Police, by George W.
> Walling; an Official Record of Thirty-Eight Years As Patrolman, Detective,
> Captain, Inspector and Chief of the New York Police. Illustrated from
> Original Drawings and Photographs; and Historic Supplement of the Denver
> Police, by A. Kaufmann. Illustrated. Specially Issued for the Benefit of the
> Denver Police Mutual Aid Fund. [Denver], 1890
>
> Crucially, though it doesn't show up in the cites generated from Worldcat,
> most of the entries (several, as Worldcat concords various libraries, and
> thus often has multiple records of the same edition), carry an additional
> (c) 1887.
>
> Although not indicated as such on the title page, the "Historic Supplement
> of the Denver Police, by A. Kaufmannis"  is [I assume] an addition included
> to a Denver reprint of an earlier edition [the first, I presume] printed in
> New York.
>
> Both texts are available on Hathi, but Garson [1887] is referring to the
> original edition, while _Green's Dictionary of Slang_ [1890] is citing the
> later reprinting.
>
> However, and here's the kicker, while both texts have the same copyright
> date of 1887, the New York edition was, if we believe the title page, not
> actually issued until the following year, 1888.
>
> [Perhaps someone on the list could confirm this, and it's presumably
> something to do with the way in which US -- or specifically New York? --
> copyright laws work, but I think I've come across before texts from this
> period where the copyright date inside was a year earlier than the
> publication date on title page.  Puzzling and awkward.]
>
> So we are probably looking at at:
>
>                    George Walling, _Recollections_ (1888)
>
> Phew!!!
>
> Robin
>
> On 23 October 2016 at 04:15 ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> wrote:
>
>
> Thanks to Wilson Gray, Peter Morris, Robin Hamilton, and Jonathon
> Green. Here is an instance of "third degree" in the desired sense from
> a police chief in 1887. Actually, it appears to be the same text with
> an earlier publication date.
>
> Year: 1887
> Title: Recollections of a New York chief of police
> Author: George W. Walling.
> Publisher: New York, Caxton Book Concern, Limited
> Quote Page 189
> Database: HathiTrust Full View
>
> http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t3bz6351m
> http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t3bz6351m?urlappend=%3Bseq=197
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> Saying which the "Deacon" disappears through a doorway, only to
> reappear after a brief absence and hold up his finger. This indicates
> that the prisoner is going to pass a bad quarter of an hour, or what
> is known in police slang as "getting the third degree."
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson
>
> On Sat, Oct 22, 2016 at 9:42 PM, Robin Hamilton
> <robin.hamilton3 at virginmedia.com> wrote:
>> GDoS has the first cite from 1890:
>>
>> _____
>>
>> 1890 [US] G.W. Walling Recollections 189: This indicates that the prisoner
>> is
>> going to pass a bad quarter of an hour, or what is known in police slang
>> as
>> ‘getting the third degree.’.
>>
>> _____
>>
>> George Walling rose to Captain under George W.Matsell, and was
>> Matsell's blue-eyed boy until they picked different sides in 1857. He had
>> a rep
>> as something of a tough customer, but may have picked up on the term (if
>> not the
>> activity), "the third degree", from his boss.
>>
>> Interesting, maybe, that he describes it as "police slang", suggesting
>> that it
>> started life as a term on that side of the counter.
>>
>> Whatever, when he says, "third degree", he knows whereof he speaks.
>>
>> Robin Hamilton
>>
>>>
>>> On 23 October 2016 at 01:53 Peter Morris
>>> <peter_morris_1 at BLUEYONDER.CO.UK>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> Online Etymology Dictionary dates "third degree" to 1900.
>>>
>>> http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=third+degree&allowed_in_frame=0
>>>
>>>
>>> Here's a cite that appears to be from 1898.
>>>
>>> http://tinyurl.com/h6sswby
>>>
>>>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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