In what century did the term
welfare - as in the sense "social effort to improve the
well-being of the poor" - enter English?
Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
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The word welfare derives from the Old English
wel faran, the condition of being or doing
According to the
Oxford English Dictionary, the first instance of
its use in the sense social effort to improve the well-being of the
poor is from the November 1904 issue of Century
manager, who may be either a man or a woman, is a recognized intermediary
between the employers and employees of mercantile houses and manufacturing
The most famous use of the word
Welfare has to be the one in the preamble to the U.S.
We the People of the United States, in
Order to ... promote the general Welfare, ... do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America.
that's in the older sense of welfare.
swhite at zipcon.net
The answer is quite a surprise to me. I would have expected Dickens
or the Salvation Army or the English Suffragettes to have used the word in that
sense in the 19th century. But I have no reference to support my expectations.
[Mootguy: Perhaps they did, but the
OED's first "recorded" (i.e., written) use is from 1904.
james.t.wood at worldnet.att.net
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