[Ads-l] Early interdating of Shebang (Chebang)

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 15 14:01:15 EDT 2017

A couple years ago I posted several early examples here of "Shebang" or "Chebang".


The earliest was a reference to an Odd Fellow's lodge in Western Pennsylvania/Ohio in 1854.

The next earliest was a reference to a theater in Baltimore in 1859.

I found an example from a Cincinnati newspaper in 1856, referring to a pro-Fillmore political rally in Newport, Ohio:

Going it Strong. – While the Fillmore “chebang” was at its hight [sic] in Newport on Wednesday, a large body of Democrats assembled in that city, and proceeded to a beautiful spot near the banks of Licking, where they raised a splendid hickory pole, surmounted by a mammoth rooster.  Speeches were made, and a real good time was enjoyed by all present.

Cincinnati Enquirer, August 29, 1856, page 1.

The Newport mentioned here is Newport, Kentucky, across the river from Cincinnati.  The rooster was the long-time symbol of the Democrat party.

Several other early examples of "Chebang" or "Shebang" as groups of people (the Cincinnati City Council and military units from Ohio) also appeared in Ohio papers in the early 1860s. The only other early examples of "shebang" or "chebang" relate to a theater in Baltimore, as discussed here in November 2015 (see link above).

Other early examples of "shebang" or "chebang" in this and other senses are discussed in my blog post of a couple years ago: https://esnpc.blogspot.com/2015/03/bad-ale-ramshackle-buildings-and-odd.html

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

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