[lit-ideas] Re: The Meaning of 'Sport' -- as Quintessentially English

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 20:23:42 EDT

Thanks to R. Paul for his quote from Shakespeare (not on 'sport', but on  
'tennis'). This re:
"The word 'sport' as we now use it did not occur until 1864 -- the idea  
is  essentially Victorian. In particular the aura of decency and fair  play 
and  leisurely activity is Victorian, and the word sportsman as a  term of 
is  first recorded in 1893."  (Frost and  Jay).
I have now checked with the OED -- sport, "aphetic form of 'disport'" --  
and, for 1864, the cite is 'transf.' only:
1864 BURTON Scot Abr. I. iii. 114 
"The Scots  lords were grieved..that these should return without having any 
sport..which the  Border wars afforded."
while there is no 1893 cite in the OED under 'sportsman', -- so I guess  
Frost and Jay have other sources?
The OED gives two uses of 'sport' in Shakesperare, incidentally -- usage  No. 
1 --:
1596 SHAKES. Tam. Shr. Induct. i. 91, 
I haue some sport in hand,  Wherein your cunning can assist me much. 
1606  Tr. & Cr.  I. i. 116 
But to the  sport abroad, are you bound thither?


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