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The newness of newlywed

I would never have guessed that "newlyweds" was vanishingly rare before the mid-19-teens. The OED claims rarity merely before the mid-nineteenth century, with instances from 1593 and 1846, but Google's ngram viewer tells a slightly different story of its explosion of use during WWI.

My favorite OED example, for a number of reasons, is this one:
1918 Cosmopolitan Feb. 90/2 A Newlywed can live on Marmalade for about three months.

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Comments

owlfish
Mar. 19th, 2012 04:09 pm (UTC)
It's fantastic! Although occasionally requires taking sources with consciousness of context. The corpus is scanned primarily from library books, which meant that, for example, the frequency of the phrase "due date" maps best onto the frequency with which libraries are populated by books from given years, pre-RFID chips.