Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 12:21:23 EST
From: AAllan AAllan[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: Re: White House
Asks Barry Popik -
AMERICA IN SO MANY WORDS has "White House" as the word of the year for 1811.
Is this too early?
The authors of ASMW, duty-bound to their public, humbly offer this excerpt
from the book, so that all may decide for themselves:
1811 White House
The residence of the president of the United States did not start out as
the White House. In the early years of its occupancy by the Adamses and
Jeffersons, it was called the President's House. It took a proclamation by
Theodore Roosevelt in 1901 to officially designate it the White House. . . .
Legend says it got the name White House when it was rebuilt and painted
white after the British burned it in 1814. In fact, it was known as the White
House at least three years earlier. A letter of 1811 mentions a politician who
went "to act as a sort of political conductor to attract the lightning that
may issue from the clouds round the Capitol and the White House at
Source: 1811 citation in W.A. Craigie, _Dictionary of American English on
Historical Principles_, and M.M. Mathews, _Dictionary of Americanisms on
Historical Principles_, s.v. White House.
We have benefited greatly from Barry's sightings and citings, and will make a
note to mention "Palace" in this entry in our next edition.
- Allan Metcalf & David Barnhart