Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Wed Feb 4 22:34:32 UTC 2004

RonButters at AOL.COM said:
>My memory is that we used them interchangeably in Iowa in the 1940s and
>1950s. I've never thought about why there are two words in my head
>for the same
>thing, though introspection tells me that FIRE HYDRANT is the
>technically correct
>term and FIREPLUG is a more informal term. But, again, I have no idea why!
>In a message dated 2/4/04 4:30:09 PM, lvonschn at WISC.EDU writes:
>>  Anyone know if fireplug (=fire hydrant) is regional?  If so, where?  A
>>  woman originally from Ohio says she uses it (and people laugh at her).  We
>>  didn't ask about this when interviewing for DARE.

I'm also familiar with both terms. FIRE HYDRANT is, indeed, the more
usual term, for me, for the curbside dog magnet. However, it now
occurs to me that FIREPLUG can be used metaphorically in ways that
FIRE HYDRANT can't, in particular for a short but tenacious hockey
player (in the Steve Sullivan/Theo Fleury/Brian Gionta mold).
Alice Faber                                             faber at
Haskins Laboratories                                  tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                                     fax (203) 865-8963

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