Aubin & 18c gap

Note: pages in our 18c Leverhulme study section were originally published on the website in 2010. Links have since been checked and updated.

Examples from Aubin’s work which plug the OED gap in 18th-century quotations: Aubin Table 1a

WordQuotationOED datesFills 18th-century gap (number of years between existing OED quotations)Comments
enjoy'he was resolved to enjoy her, tho by Force, and determined to run all Dangers rather than miss of what his headstrong Passion persuaded him he could not live without' (The Life of Madam de Beaumount (MB), p. 69; also p. 61)1598, 1667, 1950283This is OED2 4b: 'To have one's will of (a woman)'. OED's 1598 quotation is from Shakespeare and the 1667 one from Milton, both favourite quotation sources; many more examples of this sense will be available both between these dates and after Milton to flesh out such a sparsely illustrated sense. Note the euphemistic definition, taking a male subject as read; the entry was first published in OED1 in 1891 (though the 1950 quotation was added by Burchfield in 1976).
Israelitish'he vaunts of the Tribute he extorts from an Israelitish King, who is Lord of many Lords, Dukes, and Jewish Princes' (The History of Genghizcan (HG), p 25)1535, 1597, 1656, 1884228OED1/2: 'Belonging to the Israelites, or to the nation of Israel; Jewish'. The term is very sparsely illustrated.
well-horsed'they set out […] in the Coach and Six, with five Servants, and the Fisherman well horsed (MB, p. 126)a1533, 1656, 1666, 1884, 1899, 1901218OED1/2: 'Furnished with, mounted on, drawn by a good horse or horses.' Straightforward, inexplicable, gap in documentation.
with child'You are, I know, with Child, and therefore need no fear of Discovery' (MB, p. 61, also p. 68)…1597, 1603, 1611, 1651, 1864213OED1/2 17: 'with child: a. lit. Pregnant.' The 1611 example is from Coverdale's Bible. This is a remarkable omission - it seems unlikely that the phrase was not regularly and frequently used over the eighteenth century.
in years'I don't dislike your Person […] but do not think myself of years to chuse a Husband' (MB, p. 52)1579, 1607, 1813206OED1/2 5b: 'Full or mature age (esp. in phr. into or to years, of years); old age (esp. in phr. in years = old, aged). Now arch. or poet.'
dazzled'My Dazled Sence, confounded with their Glory / Would be struck Dumb' (The Stuarts, p. 4)1581, a1629, a1628, 1811, 1856183OED1/2 sense 1: 'Overpowered or confounded by too strong light or splendour'.
country-house'Pisouca went to meet him, and put himto flight after a bloody Battel, and return'd with Honour to his Country-House, where he commonly resided' (HG, p.13)1592, 1664, 1838174Another very sparsely illustrated term in OED.
shrink'We no sooner saw this Company coming up, but the Tartars began to shrink; they saw their Enemies well arm'd and numerous and did not think themselves strong enough to attack them' (MB, p. 87)…1603, 1605, 1660, 1825 (Scott), 1837, 1848165This is OED2/3 6a: 'To withdraw from a place or position, esp. in a secret or furtive manner; to turn aside, away, back, etc. furtively or nimbly; to slip or slink away. Now rare.' Note that Aubin uses the verb in a specific sense unidentified here, 'to withdraw in fright'. The same sense is found in several of the OED's own quotations for 6a, e.g. '1603 KNOLLES Hist. Turks 1038 The Hungarians were almost all shrunk home. 1605 CHAPMAN All Fooles I. i, Gost. Who was that Shrunke at my entry here?.. Ryn. He shrunke not, sir, his busines call'd him hence'.
round'Whilst Fame through all the Universe do's sound, / Great BRITAIN's matchless Glory, And relates the Noble Story […] through all the spacious Roun' (The Stuarts, p. 3)c1586, 1594, 1607, 1667, 1837164The applicable OED1/2 definition is 1b: 'this (earthly, etc.) round, the earth.' Aubin's example clearly refers to the earth, but unlike all the OED quotations does not precede 'round' with the definite article 'this'.
circular'there are yet to be seen circular Letters sent by him [i.e. the King of the Keraites] to Christian Princes during his Reign' (HG, p. 24)1659, 1687, 1776, plus five nineteenth-century quotations89OED1/2 treats this term s.v. sense 8, borrowing the definition from Johnson's Dictionary (as indicated by the bracketed 'J'): 'Affecting or relating to a circle or number of persons; esp. in circular letter, "a letter directed to several persons, who have the same interest in some common affair" (J.) […]'. It is curious, therefore, that although this meaning must have been current in 1755 (the date of J's Dictionary) and earlier, there is no eighteenth-century quotation in OED before 1776. The existing distribution of quotations gives the (presumably) inaccurate impression the word was less used in the eighteenth centurythan in the seventheenth and twentieth centuries.

Last updated on 16 September 2019