"idle rich", "idle poor", noun phrases, 1834; Daniel Webster, not J.S. Mill

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Nov 29 01:52:33 UTC 2013

"On the map where these United States have stood, we shall behold a
country that will be strange to us. We shall see a class of idle
rich, and a class of idle poor; the former a handful, the latter a [host?]."

Title: "Congress. / The Bank Question. / Tuesday, March 18. / Mr.
Webster's Speech."  [In 1834, Daniel was a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.]

Connecticut Courant (Hartford), 1834 March 31, Supplement, 1/4.  EAN.

"Idle rich", as noun phrase, antedates OED2 "idle", adj. and n.,
4.a., 1865-- (J. S. Mill).
"Idle poor", as noun phrase, antedates OED2 under "all", S5, "all
nations", 1993--.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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