[Ads-l] Antedating of "President" (U.S. usage)

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 18 00:35:22 UTC 2016

The first use in the OED for sense 4. of the word "president" ("The (usually elected) head of a republican state, typically functioning as both head of state and head of government") is dated 1784.  The 1784 citation, from the Acts and Laws of the State of Connecticut, must be misdated, since it refers to institutions not yet in existence in 1784.  The second citation is from the Constitution of the United States, dated 1789.  Here is an earlier citation:

1787 _Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser_ 19 Sept. 2  The executive power shall be vested in a president of the United States of America.

Fred Shapiro

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

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