Anglo-Manx: earliest dating?

The earliest date the OED has for “Anglo-Manx” is 1934. They do not even pick up on the title The Vocabularly of the Anglo-Manx Dialect published in 1924.

In 1895, Brown felt that “I have an idea that Mr. M[oore]’s new book will show plainly that we have arrived at the last squeak of the Manx language proper.” He continued in his letter to Egbert Rydings who had written short stories in Anglo-Manx:
“So I think what we have now to do is to make a new start, making Anglo-Manx dialect the basis. In its turn this will probably become obsolete, but meanwhile the catastrophe will be deferred by your stories, and, perhaps I may add, mine.”

However, I can trace it now to John Rhys writing in 1892 (not that much further in this case) in “Manx Folk-Lore and Superstitions. ii.” Folklore iii.1 (1892): 74–88. On pages 76, fn. 1 and 85 to be precise and it is used in a linguistic and not an ethnic sense.

The history of the term certainly calls for further research.

5 thoughts on “Anglo-Manx: earliest dating?

  1. A search of the digitized newspaper database at the MNH iMuseum reveals that the earliest mention of the term ‘Anglo-Manx’, as a linguistic term,appearded in the Manx Press in 1870. It was used in a letter written by E.C. Farrant, who claimed that a reporter, lately arrived on the Island, ‘evidently has not yet come to understand the idiom or accent of the Anglo-Manx.’
    (Manx Sun, 5 March 1870, p. 7)

    • Personally, I do not think Anglo-Manx is being used here as a linguistic label, I would not expect the definite article to be used. I see this as a label for those who are Manx but now speak English.

      Still, an early dating and definitely a need for further research on Anglo-Manx both as a linguistic and as a group label.


  2. Interesting stuff! I have a vague recollection that it was suggested (by Andrew Hamer I think) that research had turned up references to ‘Anglo-Manx’ in the local newspapers during the 1820s. Sorry, I cannot remember the details and I can’t locate any publication which definitively identifies the source.

    Certainly as Breesha Maddrell’s research has shown the Anglo-Manx dialect certainly had great significance for identities amongst the Manx bourgeoisie of the early 20th century, particularly in the aftermath of TE Brown. Tracing its origins to a period before these fledgling identities had become mainstream would certainly have much wider implications.

    • The only published piece of Breesha’s that I can find on this topic is “‘…as innocent as a biddag bowl.’ Nostalgia, Censorship and Manipulation of a Dialect.” Studeyrys Manninagh 1.2 (2002): [online paper with unnumbered paragraphs].

      It is a pity that her PhD on the wider topic of Anglo-Manx has never been published.


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