[Ads-l] "old boy" = the devil, 1692; antedates OED3 [1737], 1782

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Wed Sep 14 23:05:39 EDT 2016

"lidea Nichals aged about 17 years testifieth and saith that about a yeare & halfe agoe I asked abigaille hobs how she darst lie out a nights in ye woods alone she told me she was not a fraid of any thing for she told me she had sold herselfe boddy & soule to ye old boy."

Records of Salem Witchcraft, copied from the Original Documents.  Vol. 1.  Privately printed for W. Elliot Woodward, Roxbury, Mass., 1864.  Page 177.  Google Books, full view.

Deposition assuredly 1692, but I cannot determine the month and day.

Antedates OED3 "old boy" sense 4.  [1737], 1782--.


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list