Sunday, September 12, 2004

Today's OED antedating: "pastrami"

The Oxford English Dictionary has been described as the greatest scholarly achievement in history. It attempts to define every sense of every word in the English language--and to provide the earliest known examples in print for every one of those entries.

This blog will feature a daily "antedating"; that is, the first known use in print of some word or phrase. Each such posting will provide an antedating which precedes the first known use supplied by the OED. The format:

Word or phrase, capsule definition (existing OED citation and year the OED cites for its first known use): P&C antedation source and citation: "antedation passage."

Let's start with something special ...

Pastrami, the miracle cure: see Psalms 104:27 (first use cited 1940): Item titled "Our Own Travelogues," a letter from Montague Glass to Franklin P. Adams dated January 23 (1920), New York Tribune, January 31, 1920, p [page] 12, col [column] 5: "I would have ... said: 'Give me for ten cents pastrami,' so as not to let on that I suspected something ... ."