[Ads-l] Antedating of "Back-Formation"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Jun 4 15:03:01 UTC 2016

In my previous posting I forgot to include the crucial fact that this citation comes from an article by Henry Bradley, the second editor of the OED.

Fred Shapiro

From: Shapiro, Fred
Sent: Saturday, June 4, 2016 11:00 AM
Subject: Antedating of "Back-Formation"

This antedating may be of interest to historians of the OED.

back-formation (OED 1888)

1887 _The Academy_ 7 May 327 (ProQuest)  On the whole the most likely supposition seems to be that the existence of the word _celour_ in English suggested the verb _ceelyn_ (to ceil), either as a mere "back-formation" or as an adaptation of Latin _celare_, French _celer_, with senses derived from that of the noun.

Fred Shapiro

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

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