Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 12:21:23 EST From: AAllan 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 Washington." 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