Antedating of "Poker Face"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Jan 28 15:24:48 UTC 2013

At 1/27/2013 11:50 PM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
>On Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 03:27:19PM +0000, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> > poker face (OED 1884)
> >
> > 1874 _Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art_ 26
> > Dec. 837 (ProQuest) _Round Games at Cards_, by Cavendish. ...We haven
> > given us in this little book clear rules for some fifteen round games
> > at cards. ... To any one not very well up in these games, some parts
> > of the book are at first sight rather puzzling. "It follows," we read
> > in one passage, "that the possession of a good _poker face_" (the
> > italics are the author's) "is an advantage."
> >
> > NOTE:  An earlier citation could be found in the reviewed book itself.
>Not exactly. A citation can be found in the reviewed book, but it is not
>"earlier", because the book has a publication date of 1875, while the
>review quoted above is from December 1874.
>This is the sort of thing that keeps bibliographers up at night.
>Jesse Sheidlower

And historians.  Sometimes books don't simply anticipate the the next
year, but are actually imprinted with an incorrect year!  Unbelieveable!

But speak for yourself, lexicographer!  Whose profession is bound by
its own chains, refusing to accept as authority any date, hosoever
well established, earlier than that imprinted in the book.  :-)


The American Dialect Society -

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