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

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Thu Sep 15 19:52:40 EDT 2016


Thanks for the manuscript image.  Today it must be held by the Massachusetts Archives, at a site that is in an area hard to get to and in a collection that is time-consuming to work with. The only other holders of images perhaps are in Utah -- Family Search or BYU.

The 1892 book is a bit later than my 1867 source, and is essentially the same text.  Both are sufficiently accurate transcriptions of the manuscript (& vs. and, ye vs. the, etc.)..
The date Abigaille was examined (or tried) is not necessarily the date Lidia was deposed.  Looking at records of this case (in the 1867 transcription in Google Books), before and after Lidia's deposition, one can see dates both before and after that deposition.  Unfortunately, there is no date on the manuscript scrap or the transcriptions specifically for Lidia's deposition.  (It is presumably not after Abigaille's trial date in September, but it is possibly before Abigaille's examination on June 29.)

      From: Hugo <hugovk at GMAIL.COM>
 Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2016 3:53 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "old boy" = the devil, 1692; antedates OED3 [1737], 1782
This looks like a picture of the original manuscript:



This 1892 book precedes this testimony with:

Abigail was examined before the magistrates on June 29. At her trial
in September, the following testimony was given:-



On Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 8:05 PM Joel Berson <berson at att.net> wrote:

> "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--.
> Joel

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


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

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