"Living Large"

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 13 17:36:43 UTC 2011

Comments interspersed.

On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 11:10 PM, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at nb.net> wrote:

> ...
> 1853: <<Did I tell you that I was dependent upon her for all my
> prospects, and that I was living large upon the prospective "cutting up"
> of old Terry Pinn?>>
> http://tinyurl.com/3vnhr2v

I missed that one...

"1952" (untrustworthy Google Books date): <<For it is not as if these
> Basuto were living large and free.>>
> http://tinyurl.com/3jc352q

It's not just untrustworthy, but the date is off. It's possible that it's a
collection of reports (title: Report on Southern Africa), but there are
internal references to 1953 and 1954 already in the past. So there is at
least some material in the volume from 1954 or 1955. I checked a couple of
library records and they just list 1952. It's possible that the sub-volumes
comprising the scanned document have different titles as well. But the
general temporal vicinity is still close--no years after 1954 appear in
internal searches.

> Here is an intermediate date:
>  From Hathi Trust:
> [1914] (date from library catalogue): <<When money was plentiful he
> lived large and drank between drinks as long as he was able to stand on
> his feet.>>
> Patrick MacGill, _Children of the Dead End: The Autobiography of an
> Irish Navvy_ (Dutton [New York]), pp. 102-3
> [Note that the title with "... an Irish Navvy" appears in the book while
> the library catalogue shows only "... a Navvy".]
>  <http://www.americandialect.org>

I have not been checking Hathi materials, but it's a nice fit for the other
references from that particular period. One intriguing part is that so many
of them are British (or Irish).

It would be interesting to find some variations with a similar meaning
("living large-handed" was one of them--presumably reflecting someone's
generosity, and not merely the free-spending ways; "living large and open
life" was another).


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

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