"shunpike" antedatings

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Sep 10 15:37:37 UTC 2007

* shunpike, n. (OED2 1853)

1804 _New-Jersey Journal_ (Elizabethtown, NJ) 6 Mar. 4/3 [EAN] To be
sold, a small farm of fifty acres, pleasantly situated, lying in the
county of Morris, one and an half miles from Bottle-Hill
meeting-house, and four and an half miles from Morristown, on the
Shunpike Road, leading from Morristown to Elizabeth-Town.

1820 _Freeman's Journal_ (Cooperstown, NY) 4 Dec. 3/4 [EAN] About one
mile east of the Unadilla River, bounded on the north by the  highway
commonly called the Shunpike.

1821 _Watch-Tower_ (Cooperstown, NY) 20 Aug. 4/3 [EAN] Jethro Wood, at
his shop in Butternuts on the shunpike between Laurens and Louisville,
Otsego county.

1830 _New-York Spectator_ 9 Apr. 4/3 [19th C US Newspapers] I do not
say I would increase the toll on the Cayuga and Seneca canal; this
canal is very differently situated; and is not a shunpike like the
Oswego canal.

* shunpiking, vbl. n. (OED2 1961)

1919 Frederic J. Wood _The Turnpikes of New England_ 86 [Google Books]
According to Tracy's "History of Essex County" one tollgate was
located on this island, a point of great advantage in preventing

* shunpiker (OED2 1967, DARE 1951)

1937 _Hartford Courant_ 13 Nov. 8/3 [ProQuest HNP] Are you a
"shunpiker"? Or are you a hitch-hiker"? ... On a "shunpike," by its
roundabout course, one could escape the tolls on the regular
turnpikes. By "hitch-hiking" some can escape any charges whatsoever.

--Ben Zimmer

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

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