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Getting to the Root of Bush

Getting to the Root of Bush: Nickname,
Metaphor and the Biblical “George Bush”

Reading and researching Emerson in preparation for the recent bicentennial filled many gaps, corrected mistakes and clarified at least some of the haze in my knowledge of this great American. But one puzzle that remained unsolved was how Bush, the Emerson House, got is name.

The consensus of the scholars and Emerson family members I asked was that it was either picked up from the Coolidges, which built the place, or that it was a sort eccentric family nickname, somewhat like Emerson referring to Lidia as “Queenie,’’ the origins of which (Bush, not Queenie, that is) were shrouded in mystery.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson's house in Concord, MA

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