[Ads-l] "vet" (n. 1848, v. 1875)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 2 12:36:01 EST 2017

My latest Wall Street Journal column is on "vetting," extreme or otherwise.


As usual, you can sidestep the WSJ paywall by Googling for the
headline or following a social media link, like this one:


The OED2 entries for the noun and verb forms of "vet" have yet to be
updated, so here are a couple of antedatings.

* "vet" n. = 'veterinary surgeon' (OED2 1862)

Harry Hieover, _The Pocket and the Stud: Or, Practical Hints on the
Management of the Stable_, 1848, p. 4
Again comes the veterinary surgeon; and as of course came the cold, so
of course comes the vet.’s bill.
(Other examples throughout, all with a period after "vet.")

* "vet" v. = 'submit to examination by a veterinary surgeon' (OED2 1891)

_Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser_ (Dublin, Ireland),
Mar. 26, 1875, p. 6, col. 4
Prince George is an honest wear-and-tear customer and with 10st 11lb
ought to take some doing; but he was slightly lame after his Rugby
performance, and returned to Dublin only to be "vetted."


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

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