beatenest adj Also sp beatenist, beatin(g)est [Often assumed to be beating pres pple of beat to surpass + -est superl suff 1b, but more likely folk-etym var of beatermost adj; cf esp the varr beatemest, beatomest, beatumest] Cf beatenest n
Best, greatest; most remarkable, strangest.
1844 Spirit of Times 14.33, You see, Dummy was, and is, the beatenest carpenter you ever seen. 1846 W. Lit. Messenger 7.151 MR, She had purchased it from a Yankee clock pedler, and declared “it was the beatenest thing for keeping time she ever seed.” 1854 Putnam’s Mag. 3.513 NEng, “The beatinest cretur for carryin’ on that ever ye see,” replied the deacon, waking up. 1885 Twain Huck. Finn 106 MO, It’s the beatenest thing I ever struck. 1892 DN 1.229 KY, “He is the beatenest man I ever saw.” “That is the beatenest trick I ever heard of.” 1893 Shands MS Speech 70, Beatenest. This word is used in Mississippi with exactly the same sense as in Kentucky; i.e. not to be beaten, not to be surpassed. 1895 DN 1.370 seKY, wNC, eTN, Beatenest: for strange or remarkable. 1902 DN 2.229 sIL, He’s the beatinest feller I ever see fur cutting up. 1903 DN 2.306 seMO, Beatingest or beatinest. . . Most surprising. 1905 DN 3.69 nwAR, Beatenest. . . Not to be beaten; most surprising. 1908 DN 3.289 eAL, wGA, Beatin(g)est. 1909 DN 3.408 nME, “That’s the beatenest thing I ever heard,” i.e., it beats anything I ever heard. 1912 DN 3.571 wIN, Beatenest. . . Most exasperating; puzzling. “I can’t find my hat; it’s the beatenest thing in the world where it could be.” 1915 DN 4.181 swVA, Beatenest. . . Finest; very exceptional. 1916 DN 4.319 KS, Beatinest. . . Common in dialect stories. Not local. 1927 AmSp 2.348 WV, Beatenist. 1929 (1951) Faulkner Sartoris 27 MS, Ef you ain’t de beatin’es’ man! 1947 Middletown Times Herald (NY) 9 Apr 8/3, [Advt:] Opens Saturday 9 A. M. with The Beatenest Values Since the War! c1960 Wilson Coll. cwKY, Beatenest. . . Unusual. “He made the beatenest speech you ever heard.” 1988 Altoona Mirror (PA) 24 July sec A 3/1 SC, “We’ve got a bigfoot over here,” Lee County Sheriff Liston Truesdale said. “It’s the beatin’est thing I’ve ever seen.” 2012 Paris News (TX) 27 Nov 4/3, My old mother would have begun the conversation in one of two ways—1) If that don’t beat a hen a’pecking or 2) Ain’t it the “beatenest” thing?