"Delmarva" etymology

When was the word “Delmarva” coined to name the peninsula that separates Chesapeake Bay from Delaware Bay and the Atlantic ocean?

Did English speakers have any other common name for this peninsula before “Delmarva”?

DELaware, MARyland, VirginiA.

It’s almost an acronym.

See, Virginia only gets two letters in it, cause all they got is that teeny little tip :slight_smile:

Whole thing? shrug
Eastern Shore is used a lot, though.

Yes, I knew that. But it doesn’t really help me find an answer to my original questions (other than the obvious: that “Delmarva” was coined sometime after the three colonies were named).

To help you a bit, but not the last word. Mathews offers:

1933, from American speech. " Perhaps the most old-fashioned varieties of Delmarva speech are current on the islands of the Chesapeake and off the Atlantic coast."

The fact that the writer wasn’t trying to define Delmarva but rather assumed that his readers knew the term, would indicate to me that it certainly preceded this first print use by more than a few years. Also, Mathews was written about 1951. I wouldn’t be surprised if older cites weren’t discovered. I just don’t know where to look easily.

Mencken’s American Language: Supplement Two from 1948 mentions Delmarva as an example of an Americanism similar to Texarkana. He cites the presence of the Delmarva News, published in Selbysville, DE. (Unfortunately, Selbysville seems to have been swallowed up by either (or both) Dover and its like-named Air Force Base and there are no web citations to that city or newspaper to use to extract a date.)

I am a Delmarvan in Delmarva, just south of the town of Delmar and I’m feeling Delmarvelous.

If I travel a few miles due east I will go past the town of Mardela Springs.
Here are some links and publications that may be of interest.

Well, if you’re that worried about it, you could also come visit us in the lovely little town of Marydel, known principally as being a place where us Delawareans can get liquor on Sundays.

The Mardela Springs site says that it was founded in 1906. Does anybody have any information on when Delmar or Marydel were founded?

At this point, I’m of the opinion that the practice of combining various syllables from “Maryland”, “Delaware” and “Virginia” to produce place names is about a hundred years old. If anybody has seen a usage that’s considerably older (like during the Civil War era), let me know.