Gentlemen of the Pivot

David Daniel david at COARSECOURSES.COM
Wed Aug 20 17:24:14 UTC 2014

Gentlemen of the Pivot are watchmakers? Bizarre, not a single hit on Google.

Poster:       George Thompson <george.thompson at NYU.EDU>
Subject:      Gentlemen of the Pivot

Here is a circumlocution for "watchmaker", from 1771:

            LENT by, or stolen from Isaac Heron, Watch-maker, about two
Months ago, a Silver-cased Watch, with Silver Face, nam'd H. Clay, London,
3630.  If lent, -- 'twas not forever; and if stolen, -- may the Thief be
detected! or, Compunction rend his guilty Heart, 'till he restore it.

            The Gentlemen of the Pivot, in whose way it may come, are
requested to have an Eye to the above Name and Number.  The Person who
takes it up, or gives Intelligence of it, shall be gratefully rewarded
by  Isaac

            New-York Gazette; and the Weekly Mercury, August 19, 1771,
supplement, p. 1, col. 2
I've not encountered this elsewhere, and it seems not in the OED.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list