[Ads-l] confidence man (1847), con game/trick/artist (1878) (UNCLASSIFIED)

MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY RDECOM AMRDEC (US) william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL
Fri Sep 28 12:10:45 EDT 2018


CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

> 
> ----
> 
> In my latest piece for The Atlantic, I look at "con(fidence)" expressions favored by Trump:
> 
> https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/donald-trump-and-the-art-of-the-con/571528/
> 
> Some antedatings from my research...
> 
> * confidence man (OED2 1849)
> 
> [ New York Daily Herald, May 30, 1847, p. 2, col. 3 Our sharpest business men have placed "confidence" in him, and for their reward have
> been swindled in sums varying from five to one hundred dollars.
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/24082310/confidence_man/ ]
> 
> New York Daily Herald, June 5, 1847, p. 2, col. 3 In all probability this is the man, from the description, who has "done"
> the knowing ones around the city, commonly called the "confidence" man, of whom the Herald gave an account a few days ago.
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/24082361/confidence_man/
> 
> * con game (OED2 1896)
> 
> Chicago Tribune, Mar. 5, 1878, p. 8, col. 6 Justice Scully yesterday held the following... Mike Mullin, playing the "con." game upon Max
> Polachek and several wholesale dry-goods houses, $100 fine.
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/24082577/con_game/


Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, Mar 31, 1877 p 8 col 1 [Genealogybank]
""Tip" Farrell, the father of the "con" game, was arrested yesterday for complicity in the assault on Belt, the colored railroader, on the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad."


> 
> * con trick (not in OED)
> 
> Chicago Tribune, Mar. 24, 1878, p. 8, col. 4 Thomas McDonald, alias Howard, a well known confidence-man, who is wanted on suspicion of
> having taken several "con." tricks on the railroad.
> Caution-https://www.newspapers.com/clip/24082583/con_trick/
> 
> * con artist (OED3 1898)
> 
> (Chicago) Daily Inter-Ocean, Mar. 28, 1878, p. 8, col. 1 Before Justice Summerfield yesterday... John Harvey, alias William Williams, great
> "con" artist, $100.
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/24096016/con_artist/
>

Others:


Confidence trick (OED has 1884)
Richmond VA Enquirer Jan 4 1856 p 4 col 1 [Chronicling America]
"We may add that some of our own citizens were sufferers by his confidence tricks, and it was, perhaps, well for him that he made a hasty departure from our midst."

Washington DC Daily Union Jul 26, 1856 p 3 col 2 [Genealogybank]
"Another Confidence Trick" [headline]
 


Confidence game (OED has 1856) [Genealogybank]
New York NY National Police Gazette Jul 28, 1849 p 2 col 2
"He then commenced the "confidence game," practicing his chin upon small characters at the outset, but generally confining his operations to the safe deception of roguish pawnbrokers and petty "fencemen," who dared not to complain."
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list