"Thoroughbred" An American Term.: Use of Word Is Discovered in an Advertisement in New Jersey Paper of 1778., Daily Racing Form, 1917-06-06


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"THOROUGHBRED AN AMERICAN TERM. Use of Word Is Discovered in an Advertisement in New Jersey Paper of 1778. The recent interesting article which apiwarcd in the New York Herald and republished in Daily Racing Form headed "When Is a Horse a Thoroughbred" has brought about further argument surrounding the use of the word. John L. OConnor, writing to the Herald, has the following to say: "To show no partiality in the argument the writer of this declares all of them wrong, and disagrees with them on ana following points: The association for using the word thoroughbred, its use being superfluous inasmuch as a well-di -veloped and recognized breed bearing a distinctive name implies thorough breeding. The Creeders Gazette is wrong to d-iiy the use of the word thoroughbred as an adjective. The Herald correspondent is wrong be cause of his viewpoint and a lack of inclination to accord full credit to the race of animals that popularize the meaning of the word. "As an ardent admirer of everything pertaining to the thoroughbred, I have no present hesitation in going to the defense and support of a name to which centuries of breeding have given distinctive value above all other words. And if that word has in the course of time come to 1m- considered a phrase of appreciation and as a name of a breed of horses the particular breed of horses which stand foremost and uppermost among pure bred stock why then there is every reason for the assumed assurance of people of the present day to honor the breed by placing "the* bef are •thoroughbred. and by forming the phrase or name The Thoroughbred. thereby creating an o.p -ssion that is infinitely superlative and unclaimed through right of precedence by any other breed of animals. "The Thoroughbred" Fitting Expression. "The term The Thoroughbred peculiarly influences a kindly acceptance and employment in common usrge, since it bears a significance that cannot be better expressed by any other word or combination of words. The Thoroughbred as a name or a term fulfils a need and supplies a demand for an ex-■ prossion that is complete vet simple. And an ap-prccintion of this simple form is to be experienced when one considers that The Thoroughbred has for the last half century taken precedence in favoritism of the older forms; such as race horse, barb. running horse, turf horse, fullbloods, thoroughbred horse and thoroughbreds. "Though one may lac-: appreciation for the deli-cat shadings of word values or knowledge, in such matters may be unite elementary, there is little Icnawe to lament the absence of any such claimed I refinements, and no absolute need to hark back to j the cradle of linguistic juvenility in order to con-I vince awe self of thn true worth of a present day expression. "Cy throwhag a light on so trifling a matter as a commonly used word or expressioa value of knowi- ledge may become secondary to the Interest of cwri- esity. With the hope of adding to rather than sutts- ! tying curiosity.. I have taken the trouble to hunt j to it., lair tie- phrase the thoroughbred. Cy way of parenthesis it may be will ti strive to upset an argumentative point that thoroughbred is as commonly used as the thorowghhred. Admitting this common usage, it is contended that thorowghbrtd when used in any ether sense than as an adjective, is WTOWgly used — that is. unless we concede that the wold is but a twnupted form of the phrase, the I thoroughbred. The conclusion is srawn, then, that J the word thoroughbred only rorrecUy serves its , purpose when used to qualify a particular animal or j group or animals, whereas the thoroughbred by I common usage has become a name and can have but I one meaning. MlVnwdng over the philology of thoroughbred* BS of lit!-, moment, we will concern am stilts with the possibly unimportant but rather interesting point which may lead to fixing a time a given JTCnr if posall, of the first nee of the word thoroughbred by writers. By dropping all thwwgnt of the word as an adjective our interest centers primarily i-i the first use of the word as a synonym of fullblonded; second, to fix the time when Mhsrawahhud waa given the preference in Usage over fullbloodcd. Not Used ly English Writers Previous to 1830. "As before stated in the Herald columns, the word thoroughbred is not to tie found in any Fug lish publication previous to 18S9. So far as my own i limited research has gone, the statement seems to j be true, but the writer of the Herald article in [ question failed to find, or deemed it a weakness to admit, that :• book printed in I8B1, bearing the title The Horse end published under the superintendence of the Si- i, ty roc the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, used the term thoroughbred horse Instead of the long Used term blood horse. This bo •! says There is much dispute with regard to the Origin Of the thoioiigh bred horse. And again Thorowgh-hred horses were formerly fewer in number. That eminent English writer Ninirod. in his Th |;lse. the Turf and tic Bond, published in 1837, says: * « * had we no racing, we should not be in paanessloa of the noblest animal in creation the thoroughbred horse.1 in lll there was published in Edinburgh a book with th" title Horses. by I.i, uteaant - ..lone! Charles HamUtoU Smith. This authority acknowledges superiority of the distinct breed when he says: Since hunting is pursued with increasing spied, thoroughbred horses are becoming necessary. "To Americans it seeaaa instinctive to turn to English writers for precedent, so I. 1 10, wasted much tini" in an unsatisfactory hunt through over-si I as sources before turning to home material, but. was well repaid, as I found the word •thoroughbred I antedating BngRsh application by more than fifty years. "As early as 177 a New Jersey newspaper carried an advertisement worded as follows: •LIBERTY, four years old this spring He is a Solim colt out of a Dove man and is full-blooded and THOROUGHBRED. This advertisement was placed by Dr. Condit of Orange. .. J. Dr. Comlif served as surgeon in Heards Brigade, was a number of the New Jersey legislature, was a Representative in Congri ss from New Jersey and was assistant collector of the port, of Ni W York. Silae the doctor was held in such high esteem by the public and was also :i man of undoubted educational advantages, particular stress is laid on tiie fact that the doctor was the first to put into print, either in Fi gland or tils country, the word thoroughbred. "Th. ase of the word by such a man, not only lends th" weight of a certain authority, but also brings to bear a peculiar and added significance, sin-" it is us.-il in a superlative sense and eon veys a sense of superiority over other fullbloodcd bsfses. We are curious to know why the doctor drew the fine distinction between fullblooded and thoroughbred. "

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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800