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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 161

but the English have preserved it, and it appears in the Oxford Dictionary. 8
  A few weeks in London or a month’s study of the London newspapers will show a great many other American pollutions of the well of English. The argot of politics is full of them. Many beside caucus were introduced by Joseph Chamberlain, a politician skilled in American campaign methods and with an American wife to prompt him. He gave the English their first taste of to belittle, one of the inventions of Thomas Jefferson. Graft and to graft crossed the ocean in their nonage. To bluff has been well understood in English for 30 years. It is in Cassell’s and the Oxford Dictionaries, and has been used by no less a magnifico than Sir Almroth Wright. 9 To stump, in the form of stump-oratory, is in Carlyle’s “Latter-Day Pamphlets,” published in 1850, and caucus appears in his “Frederick the Great,” 10 though, as we have seen on the authority of Ware, it did not come into general use in England until ten years later. Buncombe (usually spelled bunkum) is in all the later English dictionaries. Gerrymander is in H. G. Wells’ “Outline of History.” 11 In the London stock market and among English railroad men various characteristic Americanisms have got a foothold. The meaning of bucket-shop and to water, for example, is familiar to every London broker’s clerk. English trains are now telescoped and carry dead-heads, and in 1913 a rival to the Amalgamated Order of Railway Servants was organized under the name of the National Union of Railway Men. The beginnings of a movement against the use of servant are visible in other directions, and the American help threatens to be substituted; at all events, Help