Antedating of "Tsunami"

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 28 20:18:40 UTC 2010

It's also in Historical American Newspapers which I can now browse at
leisure, thanks to BPL access. The full citation is vol. 135:26, p. 25/1
(the first page of Sunday Magazine)

Incredibly, none of the PQ papers
(Hartford/WaPo/NYT/ChiTrib/LAT/AtlantaJC/BosG) have any accessible XIXth
century citations of "tsunami", aside from a possible hit in Atlanta
Constitution in 1897. But this is only American sources. Would there not
be something in British publications in mid- to late century? I am also
surprised there is nothing earlier, in connection with Krakatoa (under
any spelling) but I am still investigating this possibility.

In the meantime, I'd like to nominate "tsunami" as the most
over-interpreted word in OCR. There are hits going back to the
seventeenth century in both newspapers and GB, but, aside from the ones
already cited, all are false readings, except for a couple that are
incorrectly dated by GB (one, dated to 1863, is actually from 2009). I
am yet to see anything like this. For some of these "tsunami" is not
even a stretch--it simply does not fit the actual image.


On 2/28/2010 11:25 AM, Sam Clements wrote:
> Genealolgy Bank shows the same story in the Sunday Magazine(p25) of the
> Philadelphia Inquirer, 26 July 1896, in perfect English.
> Sam Clements
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Shapiro, Fred"<fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2010 07:48
> Subject: Antedating of "Tsunami"
>> Newspaperarchive has a slightly earlier occurrence of "tsunami":
>> Semi-Weekly Cedar Falls Gazette, The - July 28, 1896, Cedar Falls, Iowa
>> ...rescuers were terri wihile in the latter 2655 out of 3747 were killed
>> it was shortly before 8 oclock on the night of monday june 15 that
>> dwellers near the coast heard strange sound that came out from the sea
>> swelling on the calm evening air the dreaded tsunami sea wave was not
>> altogethernewto some of those who were su soon to become its victims but
>> it is asserted that tha people were exceedingly slow to realize the
>> immensity of the danger that threat ened them tsunami cried terror
>> stricken fisherman and tsunami pass ed the echoing wail...
>> The usage here is not entirely naturalized into English.
>> Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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