Re: [ADS-L] 1909

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 16 09:17:57 UTC 2010

One expression I have not seen mentioned yet is one that is highly
unlikely for this century--"nineteen hundred and six", which is
something we hear on occasion in period films. Is there any reason to
believe that this was at all common? This is certainly the preferred
expression in legal and legislative documents, but did anyone actually
*say* it in normal speech? A quick GB scan lists 68 hits between 1890
and 1900 for "nineteen hundred and six" and all but five are either
legal or legislative documents or formal documents in proceedings of
organizations. The remaining 5 do not refer to years.

There are a few printed documents with "nineteen and six", including

The latter document, which appears to be some records of a city council,
also has "nineteen hundred and nine" only a page earlier. There are
more, but I am just listing a couple of examples.

There are also four hits for the "year nineteen six". Straight search
for "nineteen six" generates too much noise, but restricting it yields a

I also found six total links to "nineteen-o-six" (three different
printings of the same story, identifying champagne vintage), "nineteen-o
six" (two identical references in Punch to port vintage) and "nineteen
o'six". There is no doubt with any of these that they identify years as
five refer to vintages and the remaining was written on the occasion of
New Year's Day, 1907, and refers to both "nineteen o'six" and "nineteen

There is also one for "nineteen ought six", published, apparently, in 1929.

Finally, there is one appearance of "nineteen naught six" (two copies,
published in 1904).

Again, there is no doubt that this one refers to a year, as it occurs in
a reference to getting together for the next convention in Milwaukee in
"nineteen naught six".

There are actually more raw hits in each case, but the remaining ones
are unverifiable. I made no attempts to look for similar constructs for
other years, but I have little doubt of similar distributions.


On 1/16/2010 3:06 AM, Paul Johnston wrote:
> I certainly heard old codgers when I was growing up in Illinois
> saying "Nineteen Ought Six."(known as the year of the All-Chicago
> World Series)  My East Coast-born dad, who was born in that year,
> always said "Nineteen Oh Six" though, which is what I say too.  I
> think my grandmother, East Coast also, born in 1879, may have used
> the form "nineteen six", however.
> Paul Johnston

The American Dialect Society -

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