big antedating of "Hun" = 'German.'

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sat Jan 26 00:11:21 UTC 2013

Neat find!

Although, the proximate inspiration for the twentieth century usage is still
probably Kaiser Wilhelm II's speech of 27 July 1900. (I would bet that
Kipling knew Campbell's poem, and it was in the back of his mind when he
popularized the term--although Kipling was not the first to use the term in
the wake of the Kaiser's speech. Several British newspapers picked up on
"Hun," as the OED demonstrates.)

Although the publication date of the poem is 1802. The battle of Hohenlinden
was fought in 1800.

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 5:12 PM
Subject: big antedating of "Hun" = 'German.'

OED, like HDAS,  dates this name for militaristic Germans to the years after
1900. It may have been popularized by Kipling.

Surprisingly, however, both HDAS and OED missed an earlier, albeit poetic,
appearance in one of the best-known poems of the nineteenth century, Thomas
Campbell's "Hohenlinden" (1800):

'Tis morn; but scarce yon level sun
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun,
Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
       Shout in their sulphurous canopy.

Hohenlinden was fought near Munich in December, 1800, between the imperial
forces of Napoleon and those of the Holy Roman Emperor Franz I, of the House
of Habsburg. Franz's army was composed of Austrians and Bavarians.

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

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