Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 19 18:39:55 UTC 2009

A couple of hundred hits into the search, I found another use of
"tenther" that is not in most dictionaries (no idea if it's in the OED).
There are several hit similar to this one:

> > Family tradition hold that he was to become a weaver, and he was also
expected to take up the part-time 'Tenther' duties of his ancestors. (A
'Tenther' was a tax collector, collecting 10% of a peasant's production
for the local authorities.)  But Christian Saalmann didn't want to be a
'Tenther' nor to be conscripted into the Prussian Army, then dominating
the region.

Note that in every case that I found so far the reference is to German
or Prussian context. I'm checking with a German friend to get more info
on this.


Victor Steinbok wrote:
> One of the actual pre-2009 citations is from an essay "Eminent
> Contrarian" by Ishmael Reed. Although the hit is of more recent vintage,
> the original appeared in the Village Voice in October 2000. But the
> reference is quite different (and closer related to the more traditional
> definition)--it's a derivative of WEB Du Bois's "Talented Tenth". In
> fact, it occurs in the essay three times, and each time in combination
> "Talented Tenther".
>     VS-)

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

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