[Ads-l] Antedating of "Goundhog Day"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 5 19:46:14 UTC 2023

That 1847 reference is the earliest groundhog-specific reference I found.  And the 1852 cites are the earliest “groundhog day” references I’ve seen.

Wikipedia has information on earlier hibernating animal traditions.

When I started an as-yet-unfinished post about groundhog day last year, I had references to poems about the weather on Candlemas, February 2, dating back to the 1600s, which claim that a sunny Candlemas portends more winter weather, and vice versa – but without mentioning animals and shadows.

When I came back to groundhog day again this year, I got distracted by comments posted online that day about a man who supposedly invented the ice cream scoop as reflected in a patent that issued on February 2, 1897.  He did invent an ice cream scoop, not THE ice cream scoop; not the first and not the last, and it’s not clear whether anyone actually manufactured on based on his design.  Post-pending.

Perhaps I’ll get back to groundhog day itself soon.

Sent from Mail<https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=550986> for Windows

From: ADSGarson O'Toole<mailto:adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Saturday, February 4, 2023 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: Antedating of "Goundhog Day"

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: Antedating of "Goundhog Day"

There is a passage describing the folklore of groundhog day in 1847
although the passage does not contain the phrase "ground hog day".


Peter Reitan clipped this passage two days ago, so he may be working
on an entry on this topic.


On Thu, Feb 2, 2023 at 1:57 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> Seems like a good premise for a movie...
> On Thu, Feb 2, 2023 at 11:19 AM Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> > Groundhog Day (OED 1865)
> >
> > 1852 Lebanon (Pa.) Courier 13 Feb. 2/5 (Newspapers.com)  The Johnstown
> > Mountain Echo, of the 3d inst., says: The 2d of February is known to our
> > natives of the mountains by the not very euphonious name of ground-hog day.
> > ... On that day the ground-hog emerges from its hole, and if it gets a
> > glimpse of its shadow it will return immediately, and remain for six weeks,
> > as the weather for that apace of time will be extremely hard and severe.
> >
> > Fred Shapiro
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list