[Ads-l] rude: noisy? frolicksome?

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sun Sep 24 16:36:02 UTC 2017

I have scanned the entries under "rude" in the OED, and do not think that I
have seen anything that covers the sense of the passages below.  The senses
of "rude" as applied to human behavior are, I think, all negative.  This
passage is from 1795.

            From the diary of Mary Bishop Cushman, 19, travelled from
Coventry, her home in Connecticut, to Otsego county, N. Y

[She] bid them (p. 262) All adieu for I fear a long time, then drank a
glass cherry and set out In company with Mr. Jones and Mr. Fuller for
Norwich, stopt a fue moments at Lord Hydes Lebanon Town got some sling --
then rode on to the landing, put up at Harrisses Coffeehouse  a fine place
for a girl to be in, however, nothing interesting occurd, till bedtime,
there was several ladies there but I unhappily was not acquainted with
them.  They were very rude in the kitchen -- at bedtime it was supposed Mr.
Fuller was my husband poor lad how he blus't the laugh was high and rather
against him.

Wednesday 11th  spent the day at Capt. Harrises got acquainted with Lydia
Harris, with Betsy Abbey of Windham & Sally Watts of Newlondon, was
introduced to Mr. Seamor East Hartford, he was very attentive to Betsy
Abbey had high times enough, was introduced to Mr. Barber, a merchant from
Hebron, to Mr. Hatch and Mr. Gilberts very agreeable young lads they were
going on with us to New York -- went early to bed, at half past eleven the
three young ladies came into my chamber in a proper frolick and fetch in a
peace of mince pye, and tart, which I eat, and then I had a proper rude
time for two hours -- then was quiet till morning ----

            Jamie O. Shafer .  "A Propper Yankee in Central New York: The
Diary of Mary Bishop Cushman, 1795-1797."  New York History, Vol. 79, No. 3
(July, 1998), pp. 255-312

​I will note that Ms. Cushman was on her way to Central New York to become
a schoolteacher, having spent 19 years mastering every field of human
knowledge except spelling.  Not that I am trying to mock the lassie -- she
is a landsman of mine, after all.


George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998.

But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
your lowly tomb. . .
L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems.  Boston, 1827, p. 112

The Trump of Doom -- also known as The Dunghill Toadstool.  (Here's a
picture of his great-grandfather.)

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list