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Mike Sutton
Mike Sutton
Dr Mike Sutton is the author of 'Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret'.
 

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"Tech-lag Turkeys" and Thanksgiving Day: History of the Latter Phrase and American Holiday

Nov. 8, 2015 11:32 am
Categories: Dysology
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Public Domain

Due to techno-lag, the OED has become a turkey

The website of the History Channel - History.com provides a neat summary of the history of the first American Thanksgiving in the Plymouth settlement in America, which is marked as the year following the first 1620 settlement of those who sailed from Plymouth, England, to what they then, unimaginatively, named Plymouth - in America - where they settled:

'In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor Wiliam Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—.

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Public Domain

Thanksgiving 1621 America

THANKSGIVING the BigData-ID SUPERIOR ETYMOLOGY to the Oxford English Dictionary, which is now a "tech-lag turkey"!

Whilst Americans get together on the fourth Thursday in November every year for the sensational celebrations, the word Thanksgiving (and the term thanks giving) had been used regularly back in England and Scotland to name officially days of Christian religious celebration - usually in thanks for some kind of peace following a military victory.Thanksgiving days were, therefore, a tradition brought over to the American colonies from England and Scotland.

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Nullius in Verba

The BigData-ID Method (See the freely available Chapter Two in my book: Nullius in Verba Darwin's greatest Secret), once again, just as it does in the case of the Easter Bunny, Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night, beats the Oxford English Dictionary and all other etymological sources to reveal the apparent first English-language use of the term thanksgiving day, as well as its apparent first use to refer to the American celebration - but not the one in Plymouth.

As Google's Library Project adds more to its massive collection of 35+ million scanned publications, we will most likely find earlier published uses of the word thanksgiving and the term 'thanksgiving day'.

The Plymouth Brethren were far from being first with a Thanksgiving day in America.

There are, in fact, many contested cases in the USA for far earlier thanksgiving days. For several examples, see Coleman 2015 - who is the author of 'Thanksgiving: the true story'. Coleman's excellent evidence-led book explains that only a dreadfully poor historian would claim that the origin of the term 'thanksgiving day' or even the origin of the concept of the American holiday to celebrate it has its roots in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. The only reason so many American's have been fooled is because long powerful and dominant interest groups in America came from that region. Coleman (2015 page 9) explains:

'I discovered there are many competing claims for the "first" Thanksgiving based on events that happened in Texas, Florida, Main, Virginia, and Massachusetts.

None of the claims, I should point out, were made by the people involved in the events but by people who lived many years later. Why would anyone make such a claim? There are multiple reasons, including regional pride - it happened in Virginia, not in Massachusetts - ethnic identity, it was Spanish speaking people, religious identity - it was religious, not secular, it was Catholics, not Protestants.'

See the 1622 publication of Jamestown Virginia's "Thanksgiving" sermon of 1616 which gives thanks to the supply ships that brought much-needed provisions to the colonists.

One again BigData-ID English Etymology beats the Oxford English Dictionary into a cocked hat!

The term "thanks giving" -

"Thanks giving" - England 1618

The term "thanksgiving day"

"Thanks-giving day"- Early published use in England 1648 and 1654 for Thanksgiving day.

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Public Domain

Just one of many Thanksgiving days in England 1648



Thanksgiving day used in 1663 as a designated national celebratory day to mark a period of peace following civil conflict - England 1662 and also England 1663

Thanksgiving day 18th September Oliver Cromwell got Parliament to create a Thanksgiving day for a victory over the Scottish - England 1675

THE OED Has Become a "Tech-Lag Turkey"

Here is the best effort of inferior etymology provided by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in what it publishes, at the time of writing - (8th November 2015) as the earliest attested publication of thanksgiving day.

  • 1674 J. Josselyn Acct. Two Voy. 214 Towards night I returned to Boston again, the next day being Thanksgiving day, on Friday the Tenth day we weighed Anchor.
  • 1704 N. Luttrell Diary in Brief Hist. Relation State Affairs (1857) V. 460 Sir Christopher Wrenn is erecting a throne in St. Pauls cathedral for her majestie to sitt in on the thanksgiving day.
  • 1714 S. Sewall Diary 25 Nov. (1973) II. 776 Thanks-giving day; very cold.
  • 1844 J. G. Whittier Pumpkin iii, Ah! on Thanksgiving day..When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board The old broken links of affection restored.



 
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