antedating "calvary"

Tue May 27 02:28:30 UTC 2014

For those of you who have forgotten James Whitcomb Riley, the Hoosier Poet, he was one of the many 19th century writers who used word choices and spellings to reflect colloquial speech.  He undoubtedly used the spelling "calvery" not because it was his own spelling or pronunciation, but to suggest that his subject would have pronounced it that way.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Monday, May 26, 2014 4:50 PM
Subject: antedating "calvary"

In case anyone thinks all of the cites I presented in 2013 are "mere" typos not necessarily reflecting the writer's inner thoughts, here are two that aren't.

>From Indiana:

1888 James Whitcomb Riley _The Century_ (Jan.) 367: He'd like to go back in the calvery.

>From Texas:

1863 in Benjamin M. Seaton _The Bugle Softly Blows: The Confederate Diary of Benjamin M. Seaton_ (ed. H. B. Simpson) [Waco, Tex.: Texian Press. 1965]
40: The calvery reports the enemy in heaver [sic] force than the eaving [sic] before on the same ground.


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

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