de-served "hot corn"

Michael Quinion wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Fri Jan 4 09:15:01 UTC 2008

Douglas G. Wilson wrote:

> Note that "just deservings" was a reasonably frequent equivalent
> during the 19th century; this is still in use to some extent,
> according to Google Web search, although I don't recall hearing it
> myself. MW3 shows "deserving" [n.] = "desert".

Thanks for that. I've found this earlier example:

1808 Charles James Fox, "A History of the Early Part of the Reign of James
the Second", "We have good reason to hope that nothing will be wanting in
you to secure yourselves and us from their outrages and violence in time
coming, and to take care that such conspirators meet with their just
deservings, so as others may thereby be deterred from courses so little
agreeable to religion, or their duty and allegiance to us." [Project
Gutenberg e-text, from the 1888 Cassell edition, quoting a letter from
James II to the Scottish parliament on 23 April 1685.]

[And, as a footnote, the problem with my not getting copies of my own
messages was due to my sending them via Google Mail, which seems to have
confused the LISTSERV. I sent my last message through a different server
and it was copied to me. Another problem solved.]

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
E-mail: wordseditor at

The American Dialect Society -

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