[Ads-l] antedating flea circus

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 11 18:40:27 EST 2021

The quote appeared in the N.O. _Semi-Weekly Courier_ on Jan. 1, p. 1.

"En passant" was italicized.


On Thu, Feb 11, 2021 at 4:35 PM Bill Mullins <amcombill at hotmail.com> wrote:

> OED has 1928.
> 1859 _Daily Milwaukee News_ 23 Jan 2/1 newspapers.com
> "We will take occasion, en passant, to ask of the many abolitionists who
> have doubtless attended Bartoletti's flea circus, whether they think that
> if these tamed fleas were left to run at large they would retain their
> education, keep to their sword exercise, their music and their dancing, and
> also instruct wild fleas in the civilized arts which they have acquired?"
> Bartoletti was exhibiting his "Industrious Fleas" as early as 1832 in
> London.
> The Milwaukee paper says this is reprinted from New Orleans _Louisiana
> Courier_.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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