on blizzards (sharp blows)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Feb 14 19:18:14 UTC 2013

At 2/14/2013 11:32 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>Must have taken a very large amount of buckshot to get him to tumble
>up rather than down!  (The first OED cite for the sense 'a sharp
>blow or knock; a shot' is 1829, from the Virginia Literary Museum
>("_Blizzard_, a violent blow"), but obviously the word must actually
>have been used before it was so mentioned.   Antedater alert!

Sharp blow --

A Sir William Blizzard in England in 1812, apparently a doctor,
appears in the apparently notorious case of a Mr. Tipple, pierced
entirely through his chest by the shaft of a horse-carriage, but who
has survived.  Rhode-Island American, 1812 Nov. 6, page 1.  EAN.

The case is reported a dozen years later in the Rhode-Island American
of 1824 Sept. 17, page 1, with a statement by Mr. Tipple
himself.  The article ends with "Mr. Tipple ... survived the injury
more than ten years ...".  EAN.

I don't suppose Sir William is the eponym for "a sharp blow" as
received by Mr. Tipple, although it is the usual practice for the
doctor's name to be applied to the condition rather than the patient's.

Not as early as the OED's 1829, but close:

"The Corporal ... dashed ahead of the company ... and when the enemy
was out of sight, _fired his gun at them_.---Returning to the battle
ground he swore he had given them a _blizzard_ ... .  Baltimore
Patriot, 1830 May 6, page 1.  EAN.


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