[Ads-l] "drown [like] kittens/puppies"

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Thu Oct 13 08:35:20 EDT 2016


I am interested in how far back one can find the expression "drown [like] kittens/puppies", especially as a simile (with "like" or some similar construction) but also literally (referring to the actual drowning of unwanted, newly-born animals).  Other animals than cats or dogs might serve.

I see it earliest in _Othello_ and _Merry Wives of Windsor_ (which were published 1602/3).  My searches in EEBO haven't found anything earlier.

Thanks in advance,Joel

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

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