Imatges de pÓgina
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OF

SUPPOSED AMERICANISMS, .

COLLECTED BY

ALFRED L. ELWYN, M.D.

PHILADELPHIA:

J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.

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PREFACE.

This little work was undertaken to show how much there yet remains, in this country, of language and customs directly brought from our remotest ancestry. It has been the assumed privilege of English travelers and authors to twit us upon the supposed peculiarity and oddity in our use of words and phrases. An examination of the language of their own country has convinced us that this satire was the result of ignorance: those who made it were unacquainted with the language and early literature of their own people, and thence very naturally supposed that what they heard here was affected, coined, or barbarous. The simple truth is, that almost without exception all those words or phrases that we have been ridiculed for using, are good old English; many of them are of Anglo-Saxon origin, and nearly all to be heard at this day in England: a difference of circumstances may have altered a little their application, but still not enough to render our mode of employing them at all absurd. It is, indeed, remarkable that we have made no violent or outrageous alterations. It is another testimony to the almost inflexible tenacity with which people hold to their language

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