Antedating of Read Between the Lines (1829)

Thu Nov 7 20:33:15 UTC 2013

The OED has "read between the lines" to 1866.  The following is from The American Quarterly Review, vol. 12, p. 322 (Dec. 1829), in a review of A Grammar of the Latin Language, for the use of Colleges and Seminaries, in a discussion of Tacitus:

"[w]e must insist on reading slowly, for though his language affords, comparatively speaking, but few difficulties, yet he is so rich in ideas, that almost every word, certainly every sentence, claims a thorough illustration, or, as an admirer of Tacitus expressed himself very appropriate, "much is to be read between the lines.""

John Baker

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list