"Designee" Not in OED

Sun May 22 19:56:21 UTC 2011

        Predictably, "designee" can be antedated.  The earliest I see in English is from 1874:

<<On the 2d of March, 1874, the defendant the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company issued its policy of insurance for $10,000 upon the life of Austin B. Fuller, for the benefit of Harriet A. Fuller, for the term of 10 years. The policy contains this provision:

'At the request of the assured, this policy is insured upon the 'Reserve Dividend Plan,' and the said company agree that, should the premiums be paid has [sic; probably should be "as" (JMB)] herein stipulated for ten full years from the date hereof, and that, should the life insured survive said period of ten full years, that said company will pay to the designee of this policy, at the expiration of said period of ten years, its equitable proportion of the reserve dividend fund in cash, the same to be receipted for to said company.'>>

Fuller v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 37 F. 163, 165 (C.C.S.D.N.Y. 1889).  Louisiana courts have earlier examples of French "désignée."

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Shapiro, Fred
Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2011 8:49 AM
Subject: "Designee" Not in OED

Surprisingly, the word _designee_ does not appear to be in OED.  This is a common word that has been around, according to Merriam-Webster, at least since 1925.  There are over 3 million Google hits for the word.

Fred Shapiro

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

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