victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 12 03:44:13 UTC 2010

My searches are rather aimless on the macro level, but they are
narrowly targeted on the micro-level.

While searching for "blither", I noticed that a large number of hits
for "blither" in GB that are not "blithe+er" are actually
mistranscriptions of "brither". Since my search was somewhat
restricted (1780-1880), most of these are very late--much later than
most OED citations that involve "brither". Specifically, the OED has
three of them, in different subentries under "brother":

1789 BURNS Capt. Grose, Land o' Cakes and brither Scots.

c1449 PECOCK Repr. I. xii. 63 Thi Christen britheren and sistren.

1382 WYCLIF Acts xviii. 18 Paul..seide fare wel to britheren.

The latest of these is 1789, which is the earliest of the ones I
found. I've been ignoring/discarding them because this is not what I
was looking for, but the hits became so persistent that I wanted to
mention it. Some are just multiple editions or even just GB copies of
the same works, but there is definitely more than one work in
question. There are actually quite a few mistranscriptions--not just
"brither", but "brother", "blotter", "but her", "bit her", etc., so
it's quite a slog to get through them all. And I did not even try to
search for "brither". On the other hand, I did notice a couple of
these in dictionaries.

So, if anyone is interested in this, feel free to dig. As I said, I
have not made any records since these were incidental.


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