Get your ‘air cut!

October 27 1855

Get your ‘air cut!


  • Intro

    Humorous and satirical periodicals flourished in Britain and the United States during the 19th century. The leading British example was the magazine Punch, first published in 1841. Cartoons such as these are wonderful records of social attitudes to language.



    On these pages


    Punch provides numerous insights into language attitudes of the past 150 years, such as the British pre-occupation with ‘h-dropping’ as a mark of social class. To this day many English speakers are so anxious to avoid dropping the initial h sound in words such as house they over-compensate by inserting one in words such as arm. The potential confusion is exploited here in ’air of the ’ed versus hair hof the hatomsphere.


    27 October 1855, Punch

    Shelfmark: C. 194.b.199.

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