Q: "coned", v. (past tense), 1741

Jim Parish jparish at SIUE.EDU
Thu Nov 27 00:55:33 UTC 2008

Joel S. Berson wrote:
> What is "coned" in the following,a written by an intelligent and
> well-read 20-year old South-Carolinian miss in1742, describing her
> study of law from a book and writing wills for a few neighbors?
> "I know I have done no harm for I coned my lesson very perfect and
> know how to convey by will Estates real and personal and never forget
> in its proper place, him and his heirs for Ever ..."

Might it be the past tense of "con", "to study intensively, to get by
heart"? The usual spelling is "conned" - in fact, until I just looked it up, I
thought the base form was "conn" - but it seems to fit.

Jim Parish

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

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