shoaling porpoises

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sat Feb 20 22:08:59 UTC 2010

an antedating, and an extension of the sense:

INDIANS. [2 families are camped] on the shores of Staten Island, near the Narrows, where they . . . employ their time shoaling porpoises and making baskets.  [Penobscots, from Lake Champlain]  They came the whole distance from the lakes in their frail bark canoes. . . .  A large number of the fashionables from the city have paid them a visit, and made purchases of their baskets, &c.
        New-York Daily Express, July 14, 1837, p. 2, col. 6

OED: "shoal", verb #2, sense 6. Otter-hunting. (See quot.)
1897 Encycl. Sport I. 583/2 Shoal, verb, to drive the otter down to the shallows.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

The American Dialect Society -

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