Antedating of "Burgle" & "Burglarize"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Thu Feb 28 12:49:36 UTC 2013

The OED's first use for the great back-formation "burgle" is dated 1872, and for "burglarize" is 1871.  Evan Kirshenbaum has posted the following antedatings on alt.usage.english:

    Maybe you don't know it, but she _is_ a burglar.  I saw her burgle

    three pears out of your dish; and she put her fingers in the dish
    too, and then licked every one of them!

                          Joanna Hooe Mathews, _Bessie at School_,

    When one reads the long catalogue of unowned property--from rings
    set with brilliants, and gold watches, down to petticoats and
    surgical instruments--found in possession of a remanded prisoner,
    it becomes at once apparent that the man who can burgle cleverly
    has a promising career before him.

                          _Notes on the Recent Murders by Brigands in
                          Greece_, 1870

    In this dilemma there were but two resources open to the
    infurieded stewards,--one to carry the key _vi et armis_; the
    other, to burglarize the cellar.

                          _The Sporting Review_, May, 1840

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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