You deserve to take the boy out of the country, however you can"t take the nation out of the boy...

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(Meaning - "This boy continues to be a bucolic rube even though he moved from his origins.")

Does everyone have any kind of real, solid examples of beforehand use that this phrase?

For non-native readers, that is provided widely in in different variations. (So, if you room disparaging peaceful Californians, it would certainly be ".. California", etc.) I execute not know if "boy / country" was the very first use, yet it feels favor it.

Please, it"s simple to google top top the net low-quality crap about the origin of this phrase. If friend are new to this site, quoting a crap, unsourced, website is not an answer, thanks!!

Note that the faster actual, real, consumption example anyone has so far is


It would certainly be good to uncover an earlier usage example.

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edited Jun 15 "20 at 7:40

asked Mar 16 "16 in ~ 13:51

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Twiddling the Ngram arguments we uncover a "preprint" the
MarkBannister "s reference, in the may 16, 1914 worry of The nation Gentleman:

Remember the phrase how it"s straightforward to gain the boy the end of the country however much more complicated to obtain the nation out of the boy.

And there"s a fair possibility that this is the very first in-print use, together it"s quoting Theodore Vail and also uses "the phrase" quite than "the old phrase".

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edited Apr 10 "16 at 21:35
answer Apr 10 "16 in ~ 20:54

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Here"s a usage from a yearbook from 1913 (published, it seems in 1913): 2nd Junior annual of the Detroit college of Medicine: Recollections and Touches from the stays of the various People attach with the Detroit college of Medicine. There"s nothing to show that this is a very first , or also early, intake though:

JOHN JENNINGS WATTS. Dr. Snyder says you can take the boy out of the country, but you cannot take it the nation out the the boy. Watts has actually disproved this. Watts come from the wilds the Ontario, yet now he introduces the latest fads into the class, and also was the an initial man in institution to stay collars with transverse striations.

Maybe, although ns doubt it, Dr Snyder—whoever he in reality was— is the originator the this phrase. It"s a quite thought.

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You can see a pfd that Detroit university of medication 1914 Yearbook here.


On a webpage indigenous Wayne State college the day of publication is given as 1914. This publication was indeed written by the course of 1914. However, together Sven Yargs points out it seem highly probable the it was published in 1913. It anticipates the leaving of the 1913 class. In various other words the the was written by the students that would leave the following year. Sven writes in the comment below:

I think that the curator at Wayne State college misread the wording "By the course of 1914" as an interpretation "Published in 1914." the doesn"t make feeling to devote 14 pages that a yearbook to a class that left the year before. From web page 102 that the annual (the last web page of the senior section, which includes a an extensive account of the hijinks of the class of 1913): “On might 29th the class of 1913 will accomplish officially together a course for the last time. Deep in our hearts there is a emotion of remorse that we are around to depart.” Clearly, the senior class of 1913 is around to graduate.