Of course, there is a distinction between being cited for the first use of a word in the Oxford English Dictionary and actually having originated the word. When Leon Mead wrote his book Word-Coinage (1902), he asked various authors about their attitudes toward word-coinage and I believe Twain denied ever having coined a word.
Yale Book of Quotations (Yale University Press)
From: Mark Twain Forum [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Bob Huddleston [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2014 8:46 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Words invented by Twain?
You will also enjoy Robert L. Ramsay and Frances Guthrie Emberson, _A
Mark Twain Lexicon_ 9columbia, MO: 19380. "'He could curl his tongue
around the bulliest words in the language when he had a mind to.' A
total of nearly 8,000 words, combinations, and meanings have been
selected from the vocabulary of Mark Twain's published writings for
inclusion in this Lexicon."
Judy and Bob Huddleston
10643 Sperry Street
Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
[log in to unmask]
"The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are
insane." ---Mark Twain
On 5/6/2014 6:30 AM, Taylor Roberts wrote:
> Hi Carol
> If you Google the phrases "mark twain" and "oxford English dictionary"
> it turns up a cached page from the Oxford English Dictionary that
> states MT is "the 145th most frequently quoted source in the OED, with
> a total of 2390 quotations (about 0.07% of all OED quotations)."
> Total number of quotations: 2390
> Quotations providing first evidence of a word: 75
> Quotations providing first evidence of a particular meaning: 513
> That MT is the 145th most quoted source is less interesting than the
> latter 2 statistics, which reveal the linguistic innovation that you
> have asked about. OED requires access by subscription that you could
> get via your library. When logged in you will be able to click to find
> the actual words and usages. I wonder if it would also rank MT's
> latter two statistics with respect to other authors, as it would be
> interesting to know how he compares to other innovators.
> Source of above info is:
> (Who knows how well or for how long the link will work!)
> Hope you have a great day
> Taylor Roberts
> Toronto, Canada