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Echoes of the Week

The Illustrated London News, vol. 44, no. 1262, p. 550.

June 4, 1864


...We have a new word and a new meaning to a word to add to our Dictionary--the new edition of Todd's Johnson, by Dr. Latham, by-the-way, is far from perfect--and these are Miscegenation and "gave," used for our phrase "look on." The first, from America, means something more than amalgamation, and was wanted; it is from miscere and genus, and signifies the northern idea of blending all the five, seven, three, or thirteen races of mankind into one. We are, in fact, to get rid of the colours, black, red, and yellow, by mixing them; so that we shall be all one neutral tint, and shall not be able to sell black slaves any more. A brilliant idea this, is it not? There is a brilliant New York pamphlet, too, about it which would make an Englishman blush. Mr. Dickens uses the second; his houses in his last number (wherein he has very feebly resuscitated the literary dustman of our babyhood, wife and all, who "lounges on the sofy" as in the song) twice "gave" themselves to the street. Did they? Had they not better give themselves back again? Everybody knows the French idiom, but French is not English, and our mutual attachment cannot even allow a mutual friend to do that which a Roman Emperor once failed to do--i.e., coin a word unless, indeed, it is wanted....

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