[Ads-l] Meese - 1878

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 8 20:56:37 EST 2016


Below is a comical verse with "meese", "foxen", and "boxen" in 1871.

Date: May 18, 1871
Newspaper: The Tiffin Tribune
Newspaper Location: Tiffin, Ohio
Article: Grammer
Quote Page 1, Column 8
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
Our language is full of anomalies. Some verses, as we remember them,
read as follows:

If the plural of goose
  Should be geese and not gooses,
Then the plural of moose
  Should be meese and not mooses.

If the plural of ox
  Should be oxen, not oxes,
Then the plural of fox
  Should be foxen, not foxes;
And the plural of box
  Should be boxen, not boxes.
[End excerpt]

Michael Quinion discussed similar material in his essay about:

English is difficult
http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/ar-eng1.htm

Garson


On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 10:16 AM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com> wrote:
> Wiktionary recognizes meese as a chiefly comical plural of moose (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/meese <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/meese>, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/moose <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/moose>) and the Urban Dictionary has it, too (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=meese <http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=meese>).
>
> The online Oxford Dictionaries do not have it, but there is an article claiming that "the plural of moose is not and has never been meese” (http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2015/03/plural-moose-meese/ <http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2015/03/plural-moose-meese/>).
>
> I didn’t try to find an earliest date for the ADS list, but Doug Bayer mentions the word on 21 September 1995 (http://www.americandialect.org/americandialectarchives/sept95.txt <http://www.americandialect.org/americandialectarchives/sept95.txt>).
>
>
> 1. “A Moose Story” in _The Churchman_, vol. 38, p. 54
> 18 July 1878
> http://bit.ly/2gfHncd <http://bit.ly/2gfHncd>
>
> ——
> You know that when you see a lot of “gooses” together, you always call them geese, but it would not answer at all to say that these little crosspatches were “meese,” so we shall have to name them Jack and Tom.
> ——
>
> 2. “Pleasantries” in _The Christian Register_, vol. 65, no. 42, p. 672
> 21 October 1886
> http://bit.ly/2h71cPM <http://bit.ly/2h71cPM>
> quoted from the Cambridge Chronicle
>
> ——
> If the plural of goose is geese, the plural of moose should be meese; but every hunter who ever camped in the woods of Maine knows that it isn’t. Moose hasn’t any plural. A fellow thinks himself lucky if he sees one.
> ——
>
> 3. _The New Yorker_, vol. 15, issue 2
> 1939
> http://bit.ly/2houfOk <http://bit.ly/2houfOk>; see also http://bit.ly/2gfH9lr <http://bit.ly/2gfH9lr>
>
> ——
> I was near the end of the story, with the Canucks all beaten off and two carcasses of gigantic meese hanging to trees, before I reached the surprising news that the word “moose” had no plural but remained unchanged ad infinitum.
> ——
>
> 4. Appears to be the first occurrence of a normalized, non-linguistic use
> _Between Ourselves_, issues 30-45
> http://bit.ly/2h9zODM <http://bit.ly/2h9zODM>
>
> ——
> One of our flights had spotted two meese a few miles away.
> ——
>
> 5. _The Adventures of Paul Bunyan & Babe_, p. 13
> William Ratigan
> 1958, Google-dated
> http://bit.ly/2gFOA1q <http://bit.ly/2gFOA1q>
>
> ——
> Paul mostly lived on moose-milk mush,
> And—for an extra snack—
> He ate a hundred meese or two,
> Like peanuts from a sack
> ——
>
> 6. _His_
> 1967, Google-dated
> http://bit.ly/2hoqAQr <http://bit.ly/2hoqAQr>
>
> ——
> It is said that Minnesota has more fish and meese than people.
> ——
>
> Benjamin Barrett
> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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


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