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“Even as recently as OED2, this word is still categorized as “chiefly U.S.”, although the 9th edition of the Concise Oxford 1990, has no such comment.”
“Incidentally, OED2 defines it: ‘To make a donation or gift of; hence, vulgarly in U.S., to give, bestow, grant’.”
“My only complaint would be the lack of some cognates in the words' etymologies, viz. a Sanskrit and Old Persian cognate in the etymology of nail, n. (both present in the OED2 entry) and a Greek cognate in the etymology of mund, n. or manus, n.1 (not present in the OED2 entry).”
“Also, I just checked the OED2 entry for naked and discovered that there is no Greek cognate listed there.”
“In English, Chaucer used abate around 1391 in Treatise on the Astrolabe: "Abate thanne thees degrees And minutes owt of 90" OED2.”
“In 1551 in Pathway to Knowledge Recorde used abate: "Introd., And if you abate euen portions from things that are equal, those partes that remain shall be equall also" OED2.”
“The first citation for subtract in the OED2 is in 1557 by Robert Recorde in The whetstone of witte: "Wherfore I subtract 16. out of 18.”
“I cannot give you a definitive answer to this question, but here's some tentative evidence from the OED2 online.”
“He noted that the OED2 unabashedly lists, defines, and supports the "four-letter word" (first recognized by Oxford only in the 1972 Supplement).”
“It allows that after 120 person-years of proofreading and probably the most intensive electronic checking, double-checking, and cross-checking in publishing history, the text of OED2 was still susceptible of a”
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