[Ads-l] "pretty much" in 1711 used the way we still use it

Stanton McCandlish smccandlish at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 23 21:35:49 UTC 2023

I've been reading a lot of Victorian and earlier works while I overhaul the
"Tartan" article at Wikipedia, and I keep running into early use of turns
of phrase that one might think to be very modern. A good example is this:

*The Present State of Scotland*, 2nd ed. 1711: "[Plaids] have of late been
pretty much fancy'd in England ...; so that Attempts have been made in
England to resemble them, at Norwich and elsewhere, but they fall much
short [of the Scottish Highland originals] both [sic] in Colour, Fineness,
and Workmanship, as is evident at first sight."

It would be even earlier than 1711 if it appeared in the 1st ed.

Quoted in D. W. Stewart Old and Rare Scottish Tartans (1893), p. 29

I have not seen a facsimile of the 1711 original.

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

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