antedating "carnival"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 1 12:59:38 UTC 2013

OED: "a fun-fair; circus. N. Amer."  Well, maybe close enough for Brit
work.  But the 1931 primary date is truly appalling.

The 1903 ex. suggests that the word was clipped from "traveling carnival
[company]," in other words, an outfit that put on "carnivals" (outdoor
celebrations) for you.

1894 _Freeborn County Standard_ (Albert Lea, Minn.) (Aug. 8) [unp.]  The
Traveling Carnival of Western Novelties that gave us entertainment at our
"village" last Thursday was good as far as it went.

1903 _Wichita Daily Eagle_ (Feb. 15) 11: The Emporia Lodge of Red Men have
decided to have a carnival here the first week in May that will eclipse
anything Emporia has had in the shape of a carnival in years. Already the
lodge has signed a contract with one of the biggest traveling carnival
perfromances in the country.

1912 _Popular Mechanics_ (July) 141: I can start a factory for you, place
you at a park, summer resort or Traveling Carnival, Amusement or Exhibition

1913 Irvin S. Cobb in _Saturday Evening Post_ (Aug. 16) 34: They were
genuine Egyptian acrobats, connected with a traveling carnival company.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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