The Telegraph and the OED

Michael Quinion wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Thu Dec 2 17:33:39 UTC 2010

Fred Shapiro wrote:

> The Yale Book of Quotations seems to believe that David Barker's 1859
> poem about "the under dog in the fight" is the origin of "underdog."  Is
> the Hudson Chronicle of Wisconsin occurrence that poem?  What database
> did you get the Hudson Chronicle occurrence from?

I know it was newspaperarchive I searched, but searching again doesn't
throw up a result (and I didn't keep a copy). I would not have thought the
original result was from the poem (I would have recognised it, surely),
but having browsed NPA's papers, it must have been the issue of 7 May
1859, in which the only hit is from the poem. Colour me confused ...

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words

The American Dialect Society -

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