antedating (?) of "by a fluke" (1854)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sun Sep 2 13:03:41 UTC 2007

OED has 1857 for fluke n.3; HDAS also 1857

Though this is from Google Books, it is full view and the text is
linked all the way back to the title page (that checked out OK on Worldcat) with
the running head "High and Low."

High and low; or, Life's chances and changes By Henry John Coke (London: Hurst
and Blackett..., 1854, v.3, p.254

    "Dash it, old boy, you don't think I'm going to bed, when perhaps it may be
the last few hours we spend together! Confound it! no. We'll make a night of it
somehow. What I advise you to do, is to come with me to Saville House, and have
at least an hour's practice with the barking irons. You're a clipping shot I
know, but it would be well to make sure; because Pumpton is not so bad, and he
might pink you by a fluke."
    Pierce smiled.
    "My dear Arthur, you wouldn't have me commit murder, would you? No, no. ..."

Stephen Goranson

The American Dialect Society -

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