[Ads-l] Further Antedating of "Physicist"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Aug 20 20:13:54 UTC 2023

The great polymath and neologist William Whewell, who coined the word "scientist," was also long credited with coining "physicist" in 1840.  In 2020 I found an 1838 occurrence of "physicist," which was then surpassed by Garson O'Toole's discovery of an 1837 citation.  Here is a further antedating:

physicist (OED, 2., 1837)

1825 Granville Penn _Comparative Estimate of the Mineral and Mosaical Geologies (ed. 2) 1: lxxiv (Google Books)

If this Reviewer has been led to judge, that any of the modern physicists have transcended Newton by their _discoveries_ ... I envy not his judgment.

Fred Shapiro

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

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