[Ads-l] bona fide (adj.), 1755

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 30 12:25:35 EDT 2017

My latest WSJ column is on "bona fide," much in the news thanks to the
SCOTUS ruling on the Trump administration's travel ban.


Twitter link to follow if paywalled:


The OED entry hasn't been updated since... 1887? Anyway, I didn't see
anything earlier than the OED's 1542-3 cite for adverbial "bona fide" on
EEBO, but the adjectival sense is easily antedated (OED has 1788).

Reports of Adjudged Cases in the Courts of Chancery, King's Bench, Common
Pleas and Exchequer, Volume 2, 1755.

p. 1162: And the sessions having held, that his taking to this acre, and
living on it eight years, did not gain a settlement under 9 Geo. I. c. 7.
which requires a /bona fide/ payment of 30 l.

p. 1207: [Y]et the bankrupt had in the mean time such a property in them,
as enabled him to transact and sell to a /bona fide/ purchaser.


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

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