"pebbledash" -- WOTY?

Sun Apr 19 19:20:15 UTC 2009

        Surprisingly, the earliest noun example on Google Books, from
1831, is from Pennsylvania:

        <<Who that has not seen West Chester since 1817, would recognize
it in 1831.  Where now is that old stone-barn-like-looking court house,
with a square sort of a box on top, leaning to one side as if
threatening to precipitate itself to the ground, a terror to all passers
by without, no less than the sword of justice to all evil doers within!
In place thereof, behold a neat, prim edifice with spack span new coat
of pebble dash, surmounted by a smart cupola, and ball and vane aloft,
gilded and glittering in the sun.>>

Samuel Hazard, ed., Register of Pennsylvania, vol. VII, no. 25, p. 395
(June 18, 1831).

        The earliest British example is from an 1850 novel.  Of course,
it may be that Google Books tends to favor American sources.

        <<The house itself may claim a few moments of our attention, as
belonging to the peculiar architecture of the Scotch mansion of the
seventeenth century.  It was faced with pebble dash - neither brick nor
stone - and without ornament - but having its own characteristics.>>

[No author given], Norah Dalrymple.  A Woman's Story, vol. I, p. 13

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Arnold Zwicky
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2009 10:35 AM
Subject: Re: "pebbledash" -- WOTY?

On Apr 19, 2009, at 7:19 AM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:

> ...
> Just to clarify, the 1991 date is the _last_ cite in OED (though I've
> put this one in the hopper to be added). The earliest is 1879 for the
> noun, and 1911 for the adjective (with _pebbledashed_ being earlier
> still).

yes.  the OED on-line has these as its earliest cites for the noun and
adjective, in the December 2005 draft revision ("2009" in an earlier
posting is clearly a typo), plus 1822 for the verb.


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list