wild about Rappaccini's Daughter

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon May 10 22:09:50 UTC 2010

How *did* I miss this?  I read every Hawthorne short story about 5
years ago with the OED in mind.

He used "salt" = "experienced sailor" in 1835, 5 years before the
current (that is, 1989) record holder, Richard Henry Dana.

And they say Nathaniel didn't employ slang.


At 5/10/2010 03:51 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>OED has the constr. "wild about" (def. 11c, a bit mildly defined) from 1868
>only: the early preference seems to have been for "wild after."
>Hawthorne, however, used the current idiom in "Rappaccini's Daughter" in
>"You have heard of this daughter, whom all the young men in Padua are wild
>"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list