A less-interesting "Memorex moment," but WTF?

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 14 22:38:03 UTC 2011

According to the OED, both made an appearance in the same 1585 publication
which, at the moment, stands as the earliest example:

1585    T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie iii. iii. 73 b,
> [They] let their mustaches grow very long.
> 1585    T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie iv. xii. 125
> [They] suffered no haire to grow, but only the moustaches betwixt the nose &
> the mouth.


On Sat, May 14, 2011 at 5:23 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> I've long had the impression that the "correct" spelling of the word
> for a type of facial hair was _moustache_, in my youth. However, with
> the passage of three-quarters of a century, the slight simplification,
> _mustache_, has become the norm.
> On a whim, I googled the word. A casual glance at the first page was
> enough to establish that the "newer" spelling dates back at least to
> 1808. That same glance was likewise sufficient to reveal that the
> "older" spelling, _moustache_, (re-?)occurs some dekkids later, in
> 1865.
> The correct, documented time line is to be found in the OED, no doubt.
> It just shows to go you.
> Youneverknow.
> --
> -Wilson

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

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