Antedating of "Socialism"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Feb 10 02:20:02 UTC 2010

At 8:34 PM -0500 2/9/10, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
>socialism (OED 1833)
>1801 _Weekly Wanderer_ (Randolph, Vermont) 27 June (America's
>Historical Newspapers)
>HOW often has this little word
>In genteel arguments occurr'd;
>As tho' the soul of SOCIALISM
>Must be transmitted thro' a PRISM;
>Which like the Prism Glass, indeed,
>Affords all colors which we need.
>High in the front see ATHEISM,
>And next in rank stands TOM PAINEISM,
>With jovial UNIVERSALISM,
>Which stands oppos'd to FEDERALISM;
>And all together make GINGLEISM.
>Kind Heaven grant me MASONISM,
>With all the joys of FREEDOMISM,
>And shield my bones from RHEUMATISM,
>And I'll be proof 'gainst DEVILISM.
>NOTE:  The above citation seems "too good to be true"

Ah, indeed.  Almost apocryphal!


>as an antedating of _socialism_, but internal evidence from the
>newspaper page makes it clear that it is correctly dated.  Much less
>certain is what the meaning of _socialism_ is here, and whether it
>has any connection to the later signification.
>Fred Shapiro
>YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS (Yale University Press)
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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