"chad"--a possible origin

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Nov 19 21:37:29 UTC 2000

> >The origin from Scots "chad" =
> >"gravel" offered in Webster's Third (1961) seems reasonable to me.
>This is true.  But, in subsequent publications they (MW) have preferred
>"origin unknown."  So, too: OED-as #1 and AHD.
>I'd like to know more about the MW 1947 quote.

I think Webster's Third said "possibly" or something like that. Presumably
there is no firmly established origin, but of the hypotheses I've seen
proposed, I like this one. Robert Hendrickson presents a possibly
indistinguishable one: "chad" < "chat" = "gravel"/"mining refuse", but MW
seems more authoritative and this "chat" is a VERY obscure word (might as
well be Scots!) ....

I don't have a quote from MW. I just note that the date 1947 is given in
the MW on-line dictionary: presumably the MW editors could produce a quote.

-- Doug Wilson

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