antedating (?) "mad as a hatter" (1829)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Sep 24 15:15:17 UTC 2007

On 9/24/07, Jesse Sheidlower <jester at> wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 24, 2007 at 08:02:48AM -0400, Stephen Goranson wrote:
> > At Google Books full view with the date on the running heads:
> >
> > From a strange [I first typed strage, strange stage] play in Blackwood's
> > Magazine, June 1829, page 790. Three different characters have the following
> > exchange:
> Page 792 actually, and this is not a play, but from the
> "Noctes Ambrosianae", which was an ongoing series in
> Blackwood's in the 1820s, featuring imaginary conversations
> among Edinburgh wits of the time; it's only presented in the
> form of a play.
> For more details see
> which is an excerpt from the Cambridge History of English and
> American Literature, vol. XII. (Hat tip to Languagehat for
> this link.)

It's good news that the _Noctes_ are available in Google Books full
view. This allows us to verify, for instance, the Feb. 1832 cite for
"truthiness" that I mentioned at the end of this Language Log post:

Google Books page image is here (No. LX, p. 22):

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list