Use of hyphen in "New-York"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Feb 23 23:40:46 UTC 2010

We can't easily tell by Googling, I see.  Or at least I can't --
putting New-York in quotes didn't eliminate "New York"s.

I don't have insight into the starting date or why it was hyphenated,
and I suspect Jesse has earlier dates than the following, but ...

I can take "New-York" back to 1725, in the title of the "New-York
Gazette" (and 1733 for the "New-York Weekly Journal").

And Google Books does yield a 1706 "New-York", in George Keith's _A
Journal of Travels from New-Hamphshre to Caratuck ..._ and a 1710, in
Abiel Boyer's _The History of the Reign of Queen Anne ... Year the
Eighth_.  The earlier of these two can't be more than 39 years late,
since the English took it from the Dutch in 1667.  :-)

But I stopped quickly.  GB asserts too many early dates for volumes
actually published in later centuries, looking for when both
"New-York" and "New York" started.  Some of these perhaps edited
"New-York" into "New York", which supports George Thompson's
skepticism: "I don't put the same faith in the absence of a hyphen as
I do in its presence."


At 2/23/2010 03:04 PM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
>An acquaintance became interested in the history of the use of
>a hyphen in "New-York"--when it started, when it stopped, etc.
>Does anyone have any insight into this? I see from the title
>pages that the _New-York Times_ dropped its hyphen in the
>issue of 1 December 1896, and I know that the New-York
>Historical Society still renders its name thus, but that's
>about all I know about the subject; I don't do much
>Jesse Sheidlower
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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